Robert De Niro testified Monday in a gender discrimination lawsuit brought against him by a former female employee who accused him of being an abusive boss. Graham Chase Robinson, who worked for De Niro for 11 years, claimed that De Niro, 80, sued her in retaliation after learning that the former executive was set to sue him for gender discrimination. De Niro – who at times appeared grouchy, per the Associated Press – restrained himself from erupting at the dissection of his interactions with her before finally blurting out, "This is all nonsense." ROBERT DE NIRO'S LAWSUIT AGAINST EMPLOYEE SUING HIM FOR GENDER DISCRIMINATION MEANT TO ‘HUMILIATE’ HER: DOCS The "Raging Bull" actor testified through most of the afternoon, and he agreed that he had listed Robinson as his emergency contact at one point and also relied on her to help with greeting cards for his children. When Robinson's counsel asked him if he considered her a conscientious employee, he scoffed. "Not after everything I'm going through now," he said. LISTEN: ROBERT DE NIRO TERRORIZES FEMALE EMPLOYEE IN PROFANITY-LACED TIRADE He raised his voice twice throughout the testimony, once while defending interactions his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, had with Robinson, saying, "We make decisions together." Another time, Robinson's lawyer suggested De Niro bothered his client at an early hour to take him to the hospital in 2017. "That was one time when I cracked my back falling down the stairs," De Niro snapped. Even in that instance, he added, he delayed calling Robinson, making it to his bed after the accident at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. but then later summoning her at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. Judge Lewis J. Liman explained the rules of testimony to De Niro and that there were limits to what he could say. "Can I ask a question?" De Niro asked in one exchange with Robinson's lawyer. The request was denied. De Niro insisted he treated Robinson well and let her oversee some of the preparations of a five-bedroom Manhattan townhouse he purchased to live in with Chen. "It is not like I'm asking for her to go out there and scrape floors and mop the floor," he said. "So, this is all nonsense." ROBERT DE NIRO, 79, WELCOMES HIS 7TH CHILD Correspondence between De Niro and Chen shown to jurors demonstrated she became suspicious of Robinson and believed that Robinson acted as though she was De Niro's wife. "She felt there was something there, and she may have been right," De Niro said in defense of his girlfriend's suspicions. Robinson began working for De Niro as an executive assistant in 2008 when she was 25 years old. She was promoted and later resigned from her job as vice president of production and finance in 2019, according to court documents previously obtained by Fox News Digital. Following her resignation from Canal Productions Inc. in 2019, De Niro sued Robinson for $6 million. The lawsuit accused Robinson of improper use of the company credit card, watching TV on company time and stealing frequent-flier miles for personal trips. Robinson then filed a lawsuit, also in 2019, alleging the actor repeatedly used "vulgar, inappropriate, and gendered comments" in addition to overworking and underpaying her. LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS "The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd," a representative for De Niro told Variety at the time. Representatives for De Niro did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment. Chen, who gave birth to De Niro's seventh child this year, is also involved in the legal battle. Robinson accused De Niro of delegating her domestic tasks, such as decorating his home, instead of her expected tasks as an employee with an executive title, according to the lawsuit. The actor maintained that Robinson volunteered to decorate. During Chen's deposition, she said that when she first met Robinson she thought, "[T]here is something wrong with her, very seriously wrong with her." The yoga instructor alleged Robinson wouldn't look her in the face. Chen, who De Niro met in 2015 on the set of "The Intern," seemingly pushed for Robinson to be replaced in text messages obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "I’m not gonna be happy until you tell me she is looking for her replacement" and "if you keep her, you and I will eventually have problems," Chen allegedly texted De Niro in March 2019. Chen is expected to take the stand and testify during the nearly two-week trial. Robinson also didn't want to be involved with De Niro's home life, testifying in her deposition that "[m]y job at Productions kind of had been redirected to all of this gender female role where I was handling this housework and vacuuming and doing all of these things. … It had nothing to do with VP production of finance. That was incredibly demeaning and frustrating for me to deal with," the outlet reported. In court documents filed in 2022, Robinson alleged she uncovered text messages between De Niro's employees that prove De Niro's lawsuit was filed to "humiliate" her. In one text exchange, a long-time employee of De Niro reportedly said that Robinson "was threatening to sue bob so they wanted to ruin her first." CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER The employee also said the number De Niro sued Robinson for was "just a random number . . . [t]o humiliate her." "It's not actually like they plan to go to court," the employee reportedly added in the text exchange. Robinson’s lawyer, Alexandra Harwin, partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp, said De Niro invented claims to "ruin" her client's reputation in a statement shared with Fox News Digital at the time. "It is completely illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who complain about workplace discrimination," Harwin said. "But this is exactly what Robert De Niro did to Ms. Robinson, inventing claims to ruin her reputation and humiliate her because he knew she was going to expose his behavior." The Associated Press contributed to this report.
31 Ekim 2023 - 04:50
Robert De Niro testifies discrimination lawsuit 'is all nonsense'
Robert De Niro took the stand in his legal battle with former employee Graham Chase Robinson. The actor was sued for gender discrimination in 2019.
31 Ekim 2023 - 04:50