'Resistance Hero' Robert De Niro — who since Trump took office has become known for his epic self-righteous rants against the president in interviews and public venues, such as his profanity-laced anti-Trump tirade at last year's Tony Awards, or more recently his dropping F-bombs on a CNN live show — has been slapped with a $12 million lawsuit by his former personal assistant of 11 years, Graham Chase Robinson.
Robinson, who served as the Vice President of Production and Finance at De Niro's company, Canal Productions, alleges “years of gender discrimination and harassment,” and additionally that her boss created a “hostile work environment” — notably including “gratuitous physical unwanted contact” and consistently making “sexually charged comments”.
The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday and the hefty multi-million dollar sum is being sought for “back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, costs, and other appropriate relief.”
She's described De Niro treating her as essentially an “office wife”, detailing that he assigned her “stereotypically female duties such as housework” and created conditions of extreme overwork with no compensation, sometimes as much as “20 to 30 hours of overtime per week,” according to the filing. She also alleges he threatened negative "consequences" for her career if she left his employment.
"De Niro subjected Ms. Robinson to gratuitous unwanted physical contact," the filing states.
Among the most shocking allegations included claims the famous award-winning actor made “vulgar, inappropriate, and gendered comments” suggesting she use a male co-worker's sperm to impregnate herself. Other similar incidents included De Niro allegedly inappropriately referencing his Viagra prescription.
Chase Robinson's name first made headlines in association with De Niro in August, when the actor sued her for $6 million alleging she wasted “astronomical amounts of time” on things like binge watching Netflix and blowing through corporate cash on personal shopping trips. She said De Niro's suit was in order to preempt and discredit her own lawsuit.
De Niro’s lawyer has called the lawsuit “beyond absurd”; however, Robinson has already publicly released evidence she says backs the allegations, in the form of a fuming and expletive-laden voicemail he left her after she merely missed one of his calls.
In the angry voice message, De Niro repeated calls her a "spoiled fucking brat" for missing his call, the transcript of which was included in Thursday's court filing:
“You f***ing don’t answer my calls? How dare you! You’re about to be fired. You’re f***ing history,” De Niro told her.
His abusive behavior toward employees and people attending to his personal needs has been documented before, including earlier this year a public meltdown on a Manhattan sidewalk outside of divorce court where he was fighting for custody of his seven-year-old daughter from his estranged wife of 21 years Grace Hightower.
He began yelling and cursing at the driver for not picking him up in the right place.
Over the past years his anti-Trump tirades have been no less aggressive — though often receiving the approval and applause of his fellow Hollywood liberals and audiences.
He recently dropped F-bombs on CNN's Reliable Sources while saying of Trump, “We’ve gotta get him out…This guy should not be president, period.”
Fox's Tucker Carlson this week described De Niro's 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' as increasingly on full display:
Here you have this incredibly rich guy - who really is the embodiment of privilege in New York City - screaming at probably some foreign born driver, while his assistant covers his face so we can't see him berate his servants.
"Of course he's a liberal... cause he cares about the little guy," Carlson concluded sarcastically.
Indeed it will be interesting to see if other actors as well as #MeToo movement activists rally to Robinson's defense on this one, and call out De Niro's clearly abusive and aggressive behavior, much of which has already been on public display.