Robert De Niro

A verdict has been reached in the lawsuit filed against Robert De Niro, by his former personal assistant.

De Niro’s company, Canal Productions, has been ordered to pay more than $1.2 million to Graham Chase Robinson, the actor’s long-time personal assistant, after it was found to have engaged in gender discrimination.

However, De Niro himself was found to be not personally liable for the abuse. This follows a two-week trial in New York City, where De Niro denied all claims of being an abusive employer.

Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro in New York City on November 8, 2023. CREDIT: Getty/Photo by ADAM GRAY/AFP via Getty Images

Robinson, 41, brought claims against De Niro after she quit the job in 2019 following disagreements with De Niro’s then girlfriend, Tiffany Chen. She sued De Niro for $12 million claiming reputational harm and severe emotional distress.

Robinson claimed that between 2009 and 2019 she was called names, made to carry out demeaning tasks and has experienced difficulty securing another job after the Killers Of The Flower Moon star refused to write her a reference.

When De Niro, 80, testified, he told jurors that he tripled Robinson’s annual salary to $300,000, elevated her title and said that she took advantage of her access to his finances, reportedly stealing about $85,000 in air miles from him, according to Sky News.

While the star denied yelling at his assistant and dismissed her claims as “nonsense,” he admitted he berated her, and admitted that he “could have” called her a “brat,” but maintains that he was “never abusive, ever”.

De Niro’s lawyers sued Robinson for breaching loyalty and fiduciary duty, before this lawsuit was filed against him in 2019, seeking $6 million, including the return of 5 million airline miles.

According to The New York Times, after five hours of deliberations, the jury of seven reached a unanimous decision that Robinson was not liable for the claims brought against her by Canal.

However, in a closing argument on Wednesday, De Niro’s lawyer Richard Schoenstein seemingly dropped the idea, saying that they were worth about $85,000 and while the jurors could order Robinson to return part of her salary, “We’re not looking for you to punish her.”

Robinson’s lawyer, Brent Hannafan urged jurors to return a verdict “not just for Ms Robinson, but for all civil rights litigants,” after calling the past fortnight a civil rights trial.

According to People, David Sanford, a member of Robinson’s legal team said: “We are delighted that the jury saw what we saw and returned a verdict in Chase Robinson’s favor against Robert De Niro’s company, Canal Productions.”

He added, “Not only did Ms. Robinson win her case against Canal but the jury completely vindicated Ms. Robinson by finding De Niro’s claims against her to be without merit.”
De Niro’s team are yet to comment.

The post Robert De Niro abusive boss trial reaches verdict appeared first on NME.


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