Robert De Niro’s Production Company Ordered to Pay Former Personal Assistant $1.2 Million in Gender Discrimination Case

New York – Robert De Niro’s production company, Canal Productions, has been ordered by a jury to pay over $1.2 million to his former personal assistant, Graham Chase Robinson, after finding the company guilty of gender discrimination and retaliation. Although De Niro himself was not held personally responsible, the jury ruled that his company should make two payments of $632,142 to Robinson. The verdict was read aloud in court on Thursday, with De Niro absent.

Robinson, 41, accused De Niro, 80, and his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, of conspiring against her and turning her job into a nightmare. Robinson expressed relief and embraced her lawyers after the jury delivered the verdict. De Niro and Chen argued that Robinson’s demands for job security and advancement beyond Canal Productions led to the deterioration of their working relationship.

During the trial, De Niro testified that he had increased Robinson’s salary from under $100,000 to $300,000 per year and promoted her to the role of vice president of production and finance. However, he claimed that Robinson’s responsibilities remained largely the same. De Niro also accused Robinson of stealing around $85,000 worth of airline miles from him after she resigned, violating his trust and disregarding his unspoken principle of always doing the right thing.

While De Niro admitted to some of Robinson’s claims, including discussing the pay disparity between her and his personal trainer, he denied ever being abusive or yelling at her. He did, however, berate her. In a passionate outburst in court, De Niro directed his frustration towards Robinson, stating, “Shame on you, Chase Robinson!”

Robinson testified that she quit her job due to an emotional and mental breakdown, causing her to feel like she had hit rock bottom. She claimed to have suffered from anxiety and depression since leaving Canal Productions and has been unsuccessful in securing employment for the past four years, despite applying for 638 jobs.

De Niro’s lawyers had already sued Robinson for breach of loyalty and fiduciary duty. They sought $6 million in damages, which included the return of the 5 million airline miles taken by Robinson.

In closing arguments, De Niro’s attorney emphasized that the value of the airline miles taken was approximately $85,000 and that they were not seeking punishment for Robinson. Conversely, Robinson’s attorney framed the trial as a civil rights case and called on the jury to deliver a verdict that would resonate beyond this specific instance.

Robert De Niro, an acclaimed actor with two Oscars to his name, has been embroiled in a legal battle with his former personal assistant since her departure in 2019. This verdict marks a significant outcome in the ongoing dispute.

In summary, Robert De Niro’s production company has been instructed by a jury to pay over $1.2 million to his former personal assistant after being found guilty of gender discrimination and retaliation. Although De Niro himself was not held personally liable, his company was deemed responsible for the mistreatment of his former assistant.