American actor Robert De Niro attends the photo call for Killers Of The Flower Moon at the 76th Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France on Sunday, May 21, 2023. Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI | License Photo
Nov. 10 (UPI) -- A Manhattan jury has found Robert De Niro's production company guilty of discrimination and retaliation against the actor's former assistant, Graham Chase Robinson, as a two week trial culminated in a New York City courtroom.
The civil jury in the case ordered De Niro's company, Canal Productions, to pay Robinson $1.2 million in damages, a little more than $633,000 for each charge of discrimination and retaliation.
The ruling ends a two-week long trial and four-year battle between De Niro and Robinson, who accused the actor of repeatedly making lewd remarks and degrading requests. She said De Niro repeatedly assigned her her menial tasks that were not on par with her job.
Robinson was found not liable for several counter charges made against her, including spending company money on personal items, misappropriating company frequent flier miles, and spending inordinate amounts of company time watching Netflix.
De Niro himself was not found liable in the case. Following the verdict, De Niro's attorney Rich Schoenstein, who was also representing De Niro's company, Canal Productions, told reporters he is "very happy [the jury] separated Bob from this," adding later that "it's a great victory for Mr. De Niro. He was absolved."
Robinson called De Niro a "boss from Hell." She alleged De Niro asked her to scratch his back and spoke to her on the phone while urinating. She also said De Niro assigned her menial tasks and also alleged she was underpaid because she is a woman.
The 80 year old acting legend was not in court for most of the trial or when the verdict was reached, but did take the stand last month, and snapped, "This is all nonsense!" in response to Robinson's claims that his requests for Robinson to scratch his back were sexual in nature. "It was never done with any disrespect," De Niro said.
De Niro admitted on the witness stand that he called Robinson a "f-king spoiled brat" when she failed to wake him up for an important appointment, but insisted he was never abusive.
"The jury saw what Ms. Robinson saw and completely vindicated her," said her attorney, Brent Hannafan. "We're thrilled with the verdict. Ms. Robinson is thrilled with the verdict. She feels vindicated," he added.