A former employee at Robert De Niro’s production company slammed "The Irishman" actor with a federal lawsuit on Thursday claiming he harassed her and discriminated against her for being a woman – then retaliated against her when she told him of her plans to take legal action, according to bombshell court papers.
"Ms. [Graham Chase] Robinson has no choice but ... to send him a message: the Harvey Weinsteins of this world should realize their approach is extinct. You can no longer intimidate women. You can no longer threaten them," Robinson's attorney, Jeremy Heisler, told FOX Business.
In one example, De Niro allegedly went ballistic on the woman, calling her a “spoiled brat” in an explicit voicemail when she did not answer his phone call, according to the suit.
“How dare you f------ disrespect me?,” he said in the voicemail, in which he also told her: “You’re f------ history.”
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In a statement provided to FOX Business, De Niro's attorney, Tom Harvey, called Robinson's allegations "beyond absurd."
Robinson worked for De Niro’s Canal Productions, Inc., from 2008 to 2018.
"She joined as an idealistic young woman who hoped to advance in the film industry have her own production company, but instead of giving their challenging assignments and giving her duties that match her titles, he demeaned her, treated her as... [an] object -- as a woman and therefore his possession."
Instead, De Niro allegedly gave her "unwanted physical contact," and made unwanted "sexually charged" comments, court papers show.
“He treated Ms. Robinson as his ‘office wife,’ assigned her stereotypically female duties like housework, and insisted that she be available to him around the clock.”
Robinson claims she complained repeatedly and told De Niro she wanted to resign.
“But he would threaten her that there would be ‘repercussions,'" he added. "And given De Niro's power, she was intimidated because she was afraid he might ruin any future career. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore and she resigned in April 2018."
The claim also accuses De Niro of filing a lawsuit of his own in August – after he was allegedly advised by Robinson’s attorney that she would be taking legal action against him.
The August court papers, which name Canal Productions, rather than De Niro, as a plaintiff, accused Robinson of stealing hundreds of thousands of company dollars and credit card benefits before suddenly resigning.
“Her goals are to restore her reputation and to vindicate the rights of female employees everywhere against powerful, sexist, unbridled ‘Raging Bull’ men – or any just plain sexist," Heisler concluded. "The sense of entitlement has to go."