Fox News Today:
Robert De Niro’s former employee, who countersued the actor in Manhattan federal court for alleged gender discrimination and wage violations, is seeking to have the “The Irishman” star’s lawsuit against her dismissed, according to a new report.
Per Variety, attorneys for Graham Chase Robinson filed a motion this week saying the Oscar winner’s suit should be dismissed or stayed until a final judgment is rendered on her claims.
In the court papers, Robinson’s attorneys argued that DeNiro’s company, Canal Productions, “filed suit first in retaliation after learning that she was pursuing legal action,” Variety reported.
Robert De Niro is accused of gender discrimination and wage violations by a former employee.
In addition, Robinson’s attorneys are reportedly asking the court to strike specific allegations, including one that Robinson used company time to watch 55 episodes of “Friends” in four days, as well as a claim that she inaccurately reported her vacation days.
“These inflammatory accusations are scandalous and prejudicial — so much so that they ‘went viral,'” according to the motion obtained by Variety. “The allegations are also irrelevant to Canal’s claims: there is no case law holding that purportedly watching television during work gives rise to liability under any of the legal theories Canal advances.”
Robinson, who filed her suit in October, sued De Niro for $12 million. Meanwhile, De Niro initially sued her for $6 million in damages, which Robinson’s attorneys said on Tuesday should be stricken for being “excessive,” according to Variety.
In Robinson’s October lawsuit, she claimed that De Niro routinely subjected her to “vulgar, inappropriate and gendered comments,” in addition to overworking and underpaying her while she worked for him at his company, Canal Productions, Inc.
Per Variety, attorneys for Graham Chase Robinson filed a motion this week, stating that the Oscar-winner’s suit should be dismissed or stayed until a final judgment is rendered on her claims.
According to the suit, obtained by Fox News at the time, Robinson began working for De Niro as an executive assistant in 2008 when she was 25 years old. She eventually resigned from her position in 2019 with the title of vice president of production and finance, but alleged that De Niro only referred to her as his “assistant” and routinely gave her demeaning work that was “stereotypically female.”
In addition to taking care of housework around his apartment, the lawsuit alleged the following: “De Niro would direct Ms. Robinson to scratch his back, button his shirts, fix his collars, tie his ties, and prod him awake when he was in bed. De Niro also stood idly by while his friend slapped Ms. Robinson on her buttocks.”
Robinson also claimed in the lawsuit that the 76-year-old actor would urinate during telephone calls with her and meet her wearing only his pajamas or a bathrobe.
De Niro is also accused of using derogatory language in reference to Robinson and other women. The lawsuit said he allegedly verbally attacked her with gendered terms such as “b—-,” “brat” and referred to a female business partner as a “c—.” She claimed the actor’s most vicious tirades came when he was intoxicated.
“De Niro also underpaid Ms. Robinson based on her gender. De Niro insisted on paying Ms. Robinson less than a male whose job required no greater skill, effort, or responsibility than Ms. Robinson’s position,” according to the lawsuit. “To defend his conduct, De Niro invoked gender-laden stereotypes and implied that a male breadwinner deserved more pay than Ms. Robinson, a woman without children.”
Robinson’s filing asked for damages including back pay, front pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The lawsuit from Robinson came in response to the previous suit De Niro levied against her for $6 million after she ended her employment with him and Canal Productions. De Niro’s suit accuses Robinson of improper use of the company credit card, stealing frequent flyer miles for personal trips and using company time to watch TV, including 55 episodes of “Friends” in four days.
In her filing, Robinson denies all those allegations.
Reps for De Niro did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report