Robert De Niro accused of gender discrimination by ex-employee

Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro has been accused of gender discrimination and fostering an abusive working environment for women in a $12 million lawsuit filed by an ex-employee, Graham Chase Robinson. Among other things, De Niro purportedly used sexist language, calling female employees “c—s” and “bitches,” and referred to Robinson, who was his executive assistant, as his “office wife.”

Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores,” the lawsuit reads. “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.”

De Niro’s company filed a $6 million suit against Robinson in August, accusing her of embezzling money and binge-watching Netflix while on the job. That suit went viral with its claim that Robinson spent a four-day period in January watching 55 episodes of “Friends.”

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American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Once Upon a Time in America, directed by Sergio Leone. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Once Upon a Time in America, directed by Sergio Leone. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather: Part II. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Robert de Niro on the set of Mean Streets, written and directed by Martin Scorsese. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro during 2003 Tribeca Film Festival - 'Chinese Coffee' Screening at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Robert De Niro (R) and Grace Hightower attend the SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration at Rockefeller Plaza on February 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Robert De Niro attends the 2014 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple Of Hope Gala at New York Hilton on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Honoree Robert De Niro speaks onstage during the RFK Ripple Of Hope Gala at Hilton Hotel Midtown on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope)
ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 17: Robert De Niro attends the Remembering The Artist Robert De Niro Conference at Maxxi Museum on November 17, 2014 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 17: Robert De Niro attends the Remembering The Artist Robert De Niro Press Conference at Maxxi Museum on November 17, 2014 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Actor Robert DeNiro is seen on October 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK NY - OCTOBER 18: Robert De Niro sighting on October 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: 'Once Upon A Time In America' cast member Robert De Niro attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Robert De Niro attends 2014 Atlantic Council's Global Citizen Awards at Natural History Museum on September 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway filming Nancy Meyer's 'The Intern' on September 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway film on the set of 'The Intern' on August 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Actor Robert De Niro on the set of 'The Intern' on July 8, 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Ruby Kushner and Robert De Niro on the set of 'The Intern' on June 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Actors Robert De Niro and Linda Lavin on the set of 'The Intern' on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Actor Robert De Niro on the set of 'The Intern' on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Robert De Niro is seen filming The Intern in Park Slope, Brooklyn on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro speak onstage at Spike TV's 'Don Rickles: One Night Only' on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Spike TV)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend a screening of the HBO documentary 'Remembering The Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr.' hosted by POLITICO at the Longview Gallery on May 2, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alexander Morozov/Getty Images)
Actor Robert De Niro talks to reporters and film professionals during "Coffee with..." event during the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Paris, France, 24 11 1977, Robert De Niro actor. (Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Robert De Niro is on hand at the Museum of the Moving Image dinner honoring film producer Jane Rosenthal at the St. Regis Hotel. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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The latest round of explosive claims hit as De Niro is appearing in two major film releases — “Joker,” a comic-book adaptation that opens on Friday, and “The Irishman,” a gangster epic that is considered to be an Oscar frontrunner. De Niro’s company, Canal Productions, is also named in the lawsuit.

In her suit, Robinson says she was underpaid compared to male colleagues and given “female duties like housework.” De Niro allegedly joked to Robinson about his Viagra prescription, asked her to imagine him on the toilet and suggested she could get pregnant using sperm from a married male co-worker.

Robinson goes on to say that in April, she submitted her resignation and had her attorney tell De Niro’s team that she was contemplating a lawsuit that would address De Niro’s gender discrimination and wage violations.

“In response, De Niro took a page out of the Bill O’Reilly playbook,” the suit reads. “Before Ms. Robinson could sue, De Niro retaliated.”

Robinson says her former employee’s lawsuit was “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.”

De Niro’s suit accused Robinson of charging thousands of dollars of personal expenses, including travel and meals at high-end restaurants, on the company credit card. The suit also claimed that Robinson had misappropriated $125,000 worth of frequent flyer miles. According to the suit, she was making $300,000 a year at the time she left the company.

Robinson’s suit denies those claims, and says De Niro had personally approved the disputed transactions. Robinson also denies that she “loafed” or “binge-watched” during work hours.

A spokesperson for De Niro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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