A jury has ordered Robert De Niro’s firm to pay greater than $1.2 million to his former private assistant after discovering that his manufacturing firm engaged in gender discrimination and retaliation.
Whereas the jury discovered that De Niro was not personally answerable for the violations, it ordered his manufacturing firm, Canal Productions, to make two funds of $632,142 to his private assistant, Graham Chase Robinson.
So was De Niro, who spent three days within the two-week trial, together with two days on the witness stand Embroiled in dueling lawsuits With Robinson since her resignation in April 2019. He was not current within the courtroom when the decision was learn aloud Thursday afternoon.
Robinson, 41, testified that De Niro, 80, and his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, collaborated in opposition to her to show the job she as soon as liked right into a nightmare.
Each De Niro and Chen testified that Robinson turned the issue when her aspirations to maneuver past Canal Productions, De Niro’s firm that employed her, led her to make escalating calls for to remain on the job.
Inside two days on the witness stand, the actor advised jurors he had raised Robinson’s wage from lower than $100,000 a 12 months to $300,000 and raised her title to vice chairman of manufacturing and finance at her request, although her tasks remained largely the identical.
De Niro mentioned that when she resigned, Robinson stole about $85,000 in airline miles from him, betrayed his belief and violated his unwritten guidelines to make use of widespread sense and at all times do the proper factor.
At occasions, from the witness stand, De Niro acknowledged a number of claims Robinson made in help of her $12 million gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, together with that he might have advised her that his private coach was paid greater than her partially as a result of he had a household. As a way to help.
He agreed that he requested her to take action He scratched his back On at the very least two events, he dismissed a query on this topic with: “Properly, twice? Did you get me!”
He admitted he berated her, though he objected to her directing profanity, saying: “I used to be by no means abusive in any respect.”
He additionally denied yelling at her, saying that each little factor she was making an attempt to catch was bullshit, and that at most he raised his voice in her presence nevertheless it was by no means disrespectful. Then he checked out her as she sat between her legal professionals within the nicely of the courtroom and shouted: “Shame on you, Chase Robinson!”
De Niro mentioned Robinson made a mistake when she took 5 million airline miles from his firm’s accounts, however acknowledged that he advised her she might take 2 million miles and that there have been no strict guidelines.
Robinson testified that she give up her job throughout an “emotional and psychological breakdown” that left her exhausted and feeling like she had “hit all-time low.”
She mentioned that she has been affected by anxiousness and despair since her resignation and has not labored for 4 years regardless of making use of for 638 jobs.
“I haven’t got a social life,” she mentioned. “I really feel very humiliated and embarrassed and I really feel very judged. I really feel very broken indirectly. … I misplaced my life. I misplaced my profession. I misplaced my monetary independence. I misplaced all the things.”
De Niro’s legal professionals sued Robinson for breach of loyalty and fiduciary obligation even earlier than the lawsuit was filed in opposition to him in 2019. They sought $6 million in damages, together with the return of 5 million airline miles.
In closing arguments on Wednesday, De Niro’s lawyer, Richard Schoenstein, mentioned the miles taken have been price about $85,000. He mentioned jurors might order Robinson to return a few of her wage, however added: “We’re not searching for you to punish her.”
On the conclusion of his argument, Robinson’s legal professional, Brent Hanavan, described the two-week courtroom proceedings as a civil rights trial and urged jurors to return a verdict “not only for Ms. Robinson, however for all civil rights litigants.”
De Niro He has gained two Oscars over the previous 5 many years in movies comparable to “Raging Bull” and “The Deer Hunter.” He is in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which is in theaters now.