Why Robert De Niro faces gender discrimination and retaliation charges in high-stakes trial | Explained

  sophia sophia   6154   31 Oct, 2023 

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According to Hollywood Reporters, Graham Chase Robinson, Canal’s former vp of production and finance, claims she was discriminated against by Robert De Niro and retaliated against after disagreements with his girlfriend. De Niro claims Robinson misappropriated company funds. The trial on gender discrimination and retaliation charges against Robert De Niro and his loan-out company, Canal Productions, began Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, with De Niro taking the stand as the first witness. How did the trial arise? Robert De Niro is facing serious allegations of gender discrimination and retaliation. The trial arose out of claims brought by Graham Chase Robinson, Canal’s former vp of production and finance, who alleged that De Niro had made “vulgar, inappropriate and gendered comments” to Robinson, underpaid her based on her gender and overworked her, calling her a “spoiled brat” in an expletive-filled voicemail, when she did not pick up a phone call. Additionally, she alleges that she was still asked to perform gendered tasks, such as mending clothing and doing laundry, while an executive, among other allegations. Graham Chase Robinson, who previously held the position of VP of Production and Finance at Canal, claims that De Niro made vulgar and inappropriate comments to her, underpaid her due to her gender, and overworked her. Additionally, she alleges that she was asked to perform gendered tasks, such as mending clothing and doing laundry, despite her executive role within the company. What Graham Chase Robinson claimed? Robinson’s retaliation claim is based on her interactions with De Niro’s girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, whom she accuses of pushing her out of her job due to jealousy over her relationship with De Niro and her role in their lives. The legal battle It all began when Robinson filed her lawsuit in July 2021, seeking at least $12 million in damages. Notably, this came after Canal Productions had previously filed a $6 million lawsuit against Robinson in 2019, alleging that she had misused company credit cards and watched television during working hours. Robinson’s legal team argues that the 2019 lawsuit was retaliatory in nature, as it was filed after Robinson had resigned from her position and her counsel informed De Niro that she was considering bringing a gender discrimination suit against him. Eight jurors were selected Monday and both sides conducted their opening arguments, with Robinson’s counsel calling her a “loyal employee” and pointing to the emails from Chen to De Niro, in which she allegedly said “This bitch needs to be put in her fucking place” after a conflict over painting De Niro’s townhouse. Defense claimed that while Chen was “sometimes a little opinionated,” there was no retaliation and “no romantic relationship” between De Niro and Robinson. They further argue that the case involves a “breach of trust,” between De Niro and Robinson and that Robinson had charged an “extraordinary” amount of personal expenses to the company and transferred five million Delta SkyMiles to her account, before planning to leave the company. Robert De Niro‘s stand De Niro took the stand, as the first witness called by the plaintiff’s counsel, and when questioned by counsel pushed back on claims of asking Robinson to do “anything and everything,” as part of her job, saying he was “careful” about what jobs he asked her to do, adding “I don’t like that implication.” This came after he agreed with Robinson’s counsel that he had called her at 4:30 a.m. after hurting his back, but he said that it was a one-time occurrence. He also said, in support of his counsel’s opening statements, that while Robinson’s title changed from assistant to vp of finance and production, she had been “pushy” and asked for that title, but that her responsibilities hadn’t changed. “The job is what it is,” De Niro said. “The titles were not important.”

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