The jury in the civil suit involving Robert De Niro and his longtime personal assistant Graham Chase Robinson has determined that the actor is not liable for gender discrimination against Robinson, but Deadline is reporting that his production company still must pay her $1.26 million in damages. In a statement, Robinson’s attorney said that the jury “completely vindicated” her.
De Niro had initially sued Robinson for allegedly misusing resources from his Canal Productions label before she quit her position as its Director Of Production And Finance, saying she had transferred millions of the company’s frequent-flier miles to her personal account and had regularly used company money on personal errands.
But Robinson responded with a suit of her own, accusing her former boss of treating her like his “office wife” and subjecting her to “gratuitous unwanted physical contact,” “sexually-charged comments,” and stereotypically gendered duties like housework, in addition to allegedly asking her to “scratch his back, button his shirts, fix his collars, tie his ties, and prod him awake when he was in bed” (tasks that she called “creepy” while on the stand). Robinson’s side also argued that nobody at Canal had questioned her financial decisions until she quit, at which point the company supposedly started looking for a problem.
Earlier in the course of the trial, while on the stand, De Niro shouted comments like “shame on you” and “give me a break with this stuff” at Robinson, saying she was making it sound like she was “out in front of the building on he knees scrubbing the floor.” One questioned that seemed to frustrate him was whether or not he had ever talked to her on the phone while he “audibly urinated in the bathroom.”