Robert De Niro dismissed a lawsuit by his former assistant as “beyond absurd,” but the woman’s lawyer doubled down on the allegations of harassment and gender discrimination.
Attorney Alexandra Harwin contends that the explosive, profanity-filled voicemail to her client, Graham Chase Robinson, from De Niro that made headlines was “not an isolated incident.”
“Listen to the voicemail,” Harwin said in an interview with Fox Business on Friday. “It’s very clear from the voicemail that Mr. De Niro left her, that what was going on here was abusive and demeaning.”
Robinson “experienced a workplace that was hostile and abusive,” the lawyer said, adding that the former assistant who worked for De Niro’s company Canal Productions for over a decade, is “prepared to prove her case before a jury of her peers.”
She also noted the difficulty in going public with allegations for someone like Robinson who is “a private person.”
“At the end of the day, it was Mr. De Niro who put Ms. Robinson in the public eye,” Harwin said. “He filed a retaliatory lawsuit that was covered across every media and trampled Ms. Robinson’s reputation to not only people in the entertainment industry but also to people across the country in every walk of life.”
De Niro fmr. assistant’s shocking claim: He harrassed, made sexist comments https://t.co/3Oc1fcXjcJ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 3, 2019
Robinson’s legal team contended that the actor filed a $6 million lawsuit in August ahead of Robinson’s once he found out she was getting ready to take legal action.
Harwin explained that De Niro’s phone message, filled with the kind of ranting and expletives the liberal actor has recently bestowed on President Trump, was routine in his encounters with Robinson, who began working for the company in 2008 – when she was 25 years old.
“It was one example among many of the kinds of conduct that Mr. De Niro subjected Ms. Robinson to,” Harwin said. “The work environment grew much worse over time and eventually became so intolerable that she had no choice but to quit.”
“Ms. Robinson was asked to do things that her male colleagues were never asked to do, like scratch Mr. De Niro’s back, button his buttons, tie his ties,” she added. “The whole work environment was unacceptable.”
A lawyer for the 76-year-old star dismissed the claims.
“The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd,” attorney Tom Harvey told Fox Business.
The Canal Productions lawsuit against the former assistant claimed that she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company before she resigned, that she lied in order to get paid for unused vacation days, and once watched 55 episodes of “Friends” on Netflix while she was at work.
Robinson began working with the company as executive assistant to the director of productions before moving up to become vice president of production and finance before resigning in April. Her lawsuit against the actor said he treated her like his “office wife.”
“Among these duties, De Niro directed Ms. Robinson to put away his boxers, hang up his clothes, wash his sheets, vacuum his apartment, set his table, mend his clothing, and select gifts for his children,” the lawsuit stated.
“Once when she did not pick up his phone call, DeNiro left Ms. Robinson a voicemail filled with expletives in which he called her a ‘spoiled brat’ … said ‘how dare you f-cking disrespect me,’ and threatened her, saying ‘you’re f-cking history,'” the filing stated.
Robinson’s lawsuit is seeking $12 million in damages.
“The Harvey Weinsteins of this world should realize their approach is extinct,” Robinson’s attorney, Jeremy Heisley, said. “You can no longer intimidate women. You can no longer threaten them.”
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