Last week Robert De Niro has faced the toughest battle of his life: a ‘gender discrimination’ claim from ex-employee Graham Chase Robinson — who earned $300,000 a year.
In the culmination of a four-year legal battle, Robinson says in her $12 million lawsuit against the Hollywood legend that she suffered ‘severe emotional distress and reputational damage’.
Her emotional distress
Though he made zero sexual advances to her, he had the audacity to ask her to scratch his back, twice.
De Niro was so demanding, he even called her at 6.30am one Sunday to get access to his computer, and asked her to order him a martini from Nobu at 11pm.
Crikey, most working women on a fraction of that would have thought these trivial requests part of the job.
Robinson, now 41, further claims the Meet The Fockers star once ‘yelled at her’ after she failed to wake him for an important meeting.
Despite that, he promoted her to vice-president of his company. Many would have sacked her.
Countersuing Robinson for $6 million, De Niro accuses his former PA of transferring $300,000-worth of Air Miles to her personal account, splashing out on personal items, food and travel. (Some of it was on Ubers — didn’t she know he was a taxi driver?)
Robinson has done her best to portray De Niro, 80, as a tyrant.
Yet she was not a downtrodden lackey, but a senior staff member who suffered the occasional ill-timed request — on a salary beyond most people’s dreams.
Why work for him for 11 years if he was such a monster?
To present herself as some kind of #MeToo victim and him as Harvey Weinstein for a back-scratch makes a mockery of real sufferers of sexual violence.
As De Niro said in court: ‘It was never any disrespect or lewdness or any kind of weirdness . . Shame on you, Chase Robinson!’
The court will decide who is right.
All I know is the 21st century is a horrible time to be a man.
A good fellow promotes an ambitious woman, rewards her for loyalty, then the little focker tries to shake him down for a fortune. It’s enough to leave you furious at the ingratitude.
Excitement over the release of the final Beatles song Now And Then, created from a demo tape of John Lennon’s.
Having heard it, even a Beatles fan like me knows it’s less Strawberry Fields Forever, more limp, half-eaten raspberry trifle left out the fridge too long.