Robert De Niro is being counter-sued for gender discrimination after an ex-employee was fired from his company for allegedly binge-watching TV at work.
Graham Chase Robinson, the former president of production and finance, was sacked from Canal Productions after being accused of spending an “astounding” amount of time watching shows on Netflix, including 55 episodes of Friends over a four-day period in January.
The company filed a lawsuit against Robinson for “breaching her fiduciary duties, violation of the faithless service doctrine and conversion.” The former employee is now counter-suing.
In the lawsuit, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Robinson claims De Niro used sexist language and made inappropriate remarks in the workplace. She alleges he described her as a “bitch” and a “brat’ while calling a female colleague a “c**t”, referred to her as his “office wife”, joked about his Viagra prescription to her, and subjected her to “gratuitous physical unwanted contact” and “sexually charged comments”.
Robinson also claims that she was underpaid in comparison to her male co-workers while employed at Canal.
“Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores,” the lawsuit reads. “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.”
The ex-employee denies the claims made about her in Canal’s suit, which accused her of misusing company money and frequent flyer miles as well as watching TV on company time. In her counter-suit, Robinson said De Niro had approved any transactions she had made and that she had never binge-watched anything at work.
“Now, when her name is Googled, these allegations pop up on the screen,” the suit claims. “The results have been devastating to Ms Robinson. Her reputation and her career have been destroyed.”
Robinson is seeking at least $12 million (£9.7m) in damages. In response to the suit, De Niro’s lawyer, Tom Harvey, said: “The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd.”