Robert De Niro sued for 'verbally abusive' and 'sexually-charged' behavior

The actor faces a lawsuit from a former assistant.

October 3, 2019, 4:23 PM

Robert De Niro subjected his former assistant to "verbally abusive" and "sexually-charged" behavior, including leaving her voicemails filled with vulgar language, a new lawsuit alleges.

"Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores," the lawsuit, filed by Graham Chase Robinson, said. "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."

According to her lawsuit, Robinson began working for De Niro at his company, Canal Productions, in 2008 when she was 25 and was subjected to "years of gender discrimination and harassment."

The claims come in a federal lawsuit field in the Southern District of New York and say she warned De Niro about his behavior.

PHOTO: Robert De Niro on Sept. 27, 2019 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.
Robert De Niro on Sept. 27, 2019 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.
Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, FILE

"On the heels of Ms. Robinson’s complaints of gender discrimination, De Niro had Canal Productions file an abusive, preemptive lawsuit against her," her suit says. "The lawsuit concocted false allegations designed to inhibit Ms. Robinson from pursuing her claims, destroy her reputation, and obliterate her job prospects."

That earlier suit, filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court, called Robinson "disloyal" and alleged she misappropriated funds.

Robinson alleges that De Niro made vulgar comments, joked about Viagra, directed her to imagine him on the toilet and subjected her to gratuitous physical contact.

"Among other things, De Niro would direct Ms. Robinson to scratch his back, button his shirts, fix his collars, tie his ties, and prod him awake when he was in bed," the lawsuit said.

Tom Harvey, De Niro's attorney, rejected the claims, telling ABC News, "The allegations made by Graham Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro are beyond absurd."

The actor has appeared in dozens of high-profile films during his 50-year career. He's been nominated for seven Academy Awards, five for best actor, and won twice. He won an Oscar for best supporting actor for "The Godfather Part II" and the Oscar for best actor in "Raging Bull."