Graham Chase Robinson, 37, was Robert De Niro's assistant at Canal Productions from 2008 to 2019. Before being appointed as a personal assistant, she worked as the Vice President of Production and Finance at Canal Productions, De Niro's company.
On October 30, De Niro took the stand as the first witness in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the trial of gender discrimination and retaliation charges against him and his loan-out company, Canal Productions.
The trial emerges from a lawsuit filed by Graham Chase Robinson in 2019, where she claimed that he was verbally abusive and assigned her "stereotypical female duties."
Graham Chase Robinson calls De Niro's comments "vulgar", "inappropriate," and "gendered"
In the lawsuit, Graham Chase Robinson allegedly called Robert De Niro's comments, "vulgar", "inappropriate," and "gendered." She accused him of swearing at her and calling her a “b***h” and a “spoilt brat." After she asked him for a new position, he can be heard saying in an answering machine message:
"Don't f***ing get angry with me 'cause I'm pissed off 'cause I didn't get a single thing that I need right now ... you gotta be f***ing kidding me, you spoiled brat! F**k you."
She also claimed that De Niro called a female business partner a "c***." Additionally, she alleged that she was asked to perform "gendered tasks" such as mending clothing and doing laundry while she was an executive. Her complaint further states:
“Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores. He does not accept the idea that men should treat women as equals. He does not care that gender discrimination in the workplace violates the law. Ms. Robinson is a casualty of this attitude.”
De Niro was also allegedly accused of getting drunk and lashing out at Graham Chase Robinson.
According to Robinson, De Niro's lawsuit against her in 2019 was an attempt to discredit her ahead of the lawsuit. In August 2019, two months before Robinson filed her lawsuit, De Niro and Canal Productions sued her for $3 million.
De Niro claimed that the former personal assistant binge-watched 55 episodes of Friends in four days. She was also accused of using the company credit card for lunches, spending $8,923.20 on expensive groceries at Whole Foods stores, and spending $32,000 on Uber and taxis. De Niro's attorney, Tom Harvey, believes that Robinson's allegations are "beyond absurd."
Additionally, De Niro also accused her of using company cash to buy Louis Vuitton bags and iPhones.