Robert De Niro’s production company was ordered to pay his former assistant roughly $1.2 million as his gender discrimination trial came to a close Thursday.
While De Niro was found not liable personally, the jury ordered Canal Productions to pay Graham Chase Robinson $1.264 million in damages.
Robinson was not found liable for any of the accusations in De Niro’s lawsuit against her.
Robinson had sued De Niro and Canal for gender discrimination and retaliation, and De Niro sued the ex-employee over the alleged misuse of company funds.
ROBERT DE NIRO’S PRODUCTION COMPANY FOUND LIABLE IN GENDER DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT, ORDERED TO PAY $1.2M
Here’s a look at the top five moments from the explosive trial:
Robert De Niro’s courtroom outburst and back-scratching request
While testifying, Robert De Niro apologized to the judge after he raised his voice during questioning about a back-scratching request.
“I don’t — she didn’t scratch it,” the actor said on the stand, according to court transcripts obtained by Fox News Digital. “If she did, I said, ‘Could you scratch it?’ because I’m over here, one thing, I have an itch. Once. It is so ridiculous. It is every little thing she is trying to get on me. It is like she implies that she is out in front of the building scrubbing the floors on her knees, washing it and making sure that … this is nonsense. Come on.”
When Robinson’s lawyers claimed he asked twice for the assistant to scratch his back, De Niro shot back, “OK. Twice? OK. OK, you got me. I don’t even know what you are talking about. I’m sorry, this is nonsense.
“It never was with any disrespect or lewdness or any kind of weirdness that you are trying to imply. Shame on you, Chase Robinson.”
De Niro quickly apologized to the judge following the moment.
Robinson later insisted the back-scratching request had happened.
“I had mentioned that there was a back scratcher he could use instead,” she testified, according to court transcripts. “He said he preferred the way that I scratched his back.”
Robert De Niro admitted he ‘berated’ the former assistant
During the second day of De Niro’s testimony, the actor acknowledged he “berated” Graham Chase Robinson on at least one occasion. Recalling a time the former assistant didn’t wake him up fro a meeting, De Niro agreed he might have used “petulant,” “snippy” and “f—ing spoiled brat” to describe Robinson.
Robinson’s attorney, Andrew Macurdy, also asked De Niro whether he called Robinson a “b—- to her face.”
“I was never abusive, ever,” the actor snapped back, though he conceded he may have used the word in conversations with her.
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Robert De Niro’s daughter allegedly sent his former assistant a threatening text mid-trial
Graham Chase Robinson’s legal team shared a text the former assistant received days after she first took the stand in the discrimination trial. The message seemingly came from one of Robert De Niro’s daughters, according to the screenshot of the text that included the contact suggestion on the iPhone.
Robinson’s lawyer read the text to the judge in court.
“You disgusting little beast. You have nothing better to do with your pathetic life than destroy an 80-year-old man’s life for money. You piece of s—. He lost a grandson only four months ago. Has to deal with a scumbag like you. Sickening. Hopefully you and your family will suffer, like you have made so many suffer.”
Robinson’s lawyers claimed they googled the phone number, and it did connect back to De Niro’s daughter.
“We think this is very serious, particularly given the timing that Ms. Robinson is on the stand, and certainly, in the context of other inadvertent contacts from other associates of the defense side,” Macurdy told the judge, according to a court transcript obtained by Fox News Digital. “So, we would ask for an instruction to Mr. De Niro and to Canal that no one from his family and no associates would be contacting Ms. Robinson whatsoever.”
De Niro’s lawyer told the judge he knew “nothing” about the text message and claimed it was the “first time” he had heard about it.
“So, I have no idea where that comes from,” attorney Richard C. Schoenstein said. “But certainly we would instruct our clients not to contact the plaintiff and if your honor wants to do that, that’s fine with us.”
Robert De Niro’s girlfriend had issues with Graham Chase Robinson
Robert De Niro’s girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, who gave birth to the 80-year-old’s seventh child this year, emerged as a key figure in the issues between the actor and his former assistant.
At one point, Chen seemingly issued an ultimatum for De Niro to get rid of Robinson.
“If you keep her, you and I will eventually have problems,” one text, sent by Chen to De Niro and read in court, said. De Niro denied the claims, saying Chen only wanted her off projects that had to do with decorating the couple’s home.
“No one tells me what to do in my office, period,” De Niro said on the stand, according to the court transcript.
While Chen and De Niro weren’t publicly romantically linked until 2021, the two moved into a New York City townhouse in 2018, according to court testimony. At this time, Chen began to manage Robinson on projects for the home. Robinson had been working for De Niro for 10 years at this point. However, the two seemingly didn’t get along as Chen began to accuse Robinson of having “imaginary intimacy” with the actor.
“Ms. Chen said that Chase wanted to marry Mr. De Niro, that Chase wanted to move into the house with him, that Chase had imaginary intimacy that she wanted to be the lady of the house,” Robinson’s lawyer said during opening statements.
This “imaginary intimacy,” as Chen also referred to it in text messages shown in court, allegedly caused the problems between the girlfriend and former assistant.
Robert De Niro called his former assistant multiple times while she was attending a family funeral
Robert De Niro called Graham Chase Robinson twice while she was attending her grandmother’s funeral after she had informed her boss she would be unavailable.
“If I did, then I did. And if I called her I would have — but you could pull up whatever the deposition is that I would have been sensitive to it being a funeral, but she might have said ‘It’s OK, I can talk at this point, it’s a whatever, a wake,'” De Niro admitted during his testimony, according to court transcripts.
“It is not like a funeral where they’re putting the body into the ground or something.”
At the time, De Niro was attempting to contact Robinson to secure bus tickets for his teenage son.
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