Robert De Niro’s attorney denied that the actor was abusive toward his former assistant.
“The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd,” lawyer Tom Harvey told Us Weekly in a statement on Thursday, October 3.
Multiple outlets reported that Robinson filed a lawsuit against the Irishman star, 76, in federal court on Thursday. The former employee claimed De Niro made “gratuitous unwanted physical contact” and “sexually charged comments” as well as treated her like his “office wife.”
According to NBC News, Robinson accused De Niro of requesting that she perform “demeaning duties,” including cleaning his apartment, buttoning his shirts and scratching his back. She also alleged that he was verbally abusive, calling her a “bitch,” “brat” and other “vulgar, inappropriate and gendered comments.”
The court documents attribute his alleged behavior to gender bias. “Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores,” the papers read. “He does not accept the idea that men should treat women as equals. He does not care that gender discrimination in the workplace violates the law. Ms. Robinson is a casualty of this attitude.”
Additional accusations in the complaint stem from inappropriate comments allegedly made by De Niro. “He would joke with Ms. Robinson about his Viagra prescription. De Niro smirked to Ms. Robinson about his young paramour, who was around Ms. Robinson’s age,” the documents claim. “De Niro directed Ms. Robinson to imagine him on the toilet. He told Ms. Robinson that doing manual labor would ‘make a man out of you.’ De Niro suggested that Ms. Robinson could get pregnant using sperm from her (married) male coworker.”
Robinson alleged that the company, Canal Productions, underpaid her because of her gender too. She is seeking $12 million, which would include back pay.
De Niro previously filed a lawsuit against her in August. The Oscar winner claimed at the time that Robinson breached “her fiduciary duties” by allegedly watching Friends on Netflix while on the job and putting thousands in personal expenses on a company card. “She had made it known that she enjoyed shows like Friends, Arrested Development, and Schitt’s Creek,” the document alleged. “A review of Canal’s Netflix account, to which she had access, indicates that Robinson spent astronomical amounts of time accessing these shows, not only on weekends and holidays.” He sought $6 million in the complaint.
However, Robinson claimed the Emmy winner was “enraged” by the idea of her filing a discrimination lawsuit so he “retaliated and struck first.” She accused the Joker actor of creating “false allegations designed to inhibit [her] from pursuing her claims, destroy her reputation, and obliterate her job prospects.”