Update (4:20pm ET):Tom Harvey, attorney for Robert De Niro, has issued the following statement: “The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd.”
Earlier: Robert De Niro has been hit with a $12 million lawsuit accusing him of sexist workplace behavior (via Variety). The lawsuit was filed by De Niro’s former employee Graham Chase Robinson, who was the vice president of production and finance at Canal Productions in 2017. De Niro filed a $6 million lawsuit against Robinson in August claiming she embezzled money from the company and binge-watched Netflix while on the job. De Niro’s lawsuit gained attention for one accusation claiming Robinson spent four days watching “Friends” instead of working.
Robinson’s $12 million lawsuit against De Niro claims the actor is “someone who has clung to old mores. 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.”
The lawsuit alleges that “sexism and sex stereotyping were commonplace” in De Niro’s production office. De Niro allegedly used derogatory words such as “bitch” and “c-nt” when addressing Robinson and looked away when Robinson was spanked on the butt by a fellow employee. Robinson’s lawsuit also states that De Niro requested she “scratch his back, button his shirts, fix his collars, tie his ties, and prod him awake when he was in bed.”
“De Niro took a page out of the Bill O’Reilly playbook,” the lawsuit states. “Before Ms. Robinson could sue, De Niro retaliated. He had Canal sue Ms. Robinson in New York County Supreme Court and ensured that the suit would be widely publicized. The lawsuit is replete with ‘clickbait’ allegations that falsely characterize Ms. Robinson as a loafer, a thief, and a miscreant. Now, when her name is Googled, these allegations pop up on the screen. The results have been devastating to Ms. Robinson. Her reputation and her career have been destroyed.”
The lawsuit against De Niro arrives just ahead of the nationwide theatrical release of the actor’s new film “Joker.” Warner Bros. is opening the movie in theaters October 4. Later this fall, Netflix will release De Niro’s other high profile drama “The Irishman,” directed by Martin Scrosese. IndieWire has reached out to De Niro’s representatives for further comment.