Robert De Niro has been busy. In addition to starring in Martin Scorsese’s new film, The Irishman (which Joe Pesci came out of retirement for), he has made headlines for his continued fierce criticism of Donald Trump and, now, for allegedly abusing his former female assistant.
In a lawsuit, Graham Chase Robinson says De Niro harassed and discriminated against her while she worked for his company, Canal Productions. The harassment allegedly included sexist comments and jokes; she also claims her male coworkers were paid more than she was.
Robinson’s complaint is a countersuit: De Niro’s company sued her in August for, among other things, allegedly watching 55 episodes of Friends on the clock and using a company credit for personal purchases, which resulted in massive bills that the company had to pay.
Robinson says the claims against her are false, and that De Niro filed the lawsuit to preempt one from Robinson and discredit her.
The complaint accuses De Niro of directing “vulgar, inappropriate and gendered comments” at her and being generally “hostile, abusive and intimidating.”
Specifically, De Niro would allegedly “joke with Ms Robinson about his Viagra prescription. De Niro smirked to Ms Robinson about his young paramour, who was around Ms Robinson’s age. De Niro directed Ms Robinson to imagine him on the toilet. He told Ms Robinson that doing manual labour would ‘make a man out of you.’ De Niro suggested that Ms Robinson could get pregnant using sperm from her (married) male co-worker.”
The complaint also alleges “gratuitous physical contact”—Robinson claims she was asked by De Niro to “scratch his back, button his shirts, fix his collars, tie his ties, and prod him awake when he was in bed.”
De Niro’s attorney called the allegations “beyond absurd.”
Just before these claims surfaced, De Niro was in the news for his colorful response to the recently-launched impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Appearing on CNN, the prolific actor (the best since Brando, I should think) said impeachment “has to happen.”
“I don’t think [Trump’s] capable of resigning,” he added. “He will say it’s rigged or this or that. The day after he was elected, I said, well, give him a chance. You never know. You will see. But he is the — he’s worse than I ever could have imagined.”
Asked about Trump’s spokespeople over at Fox News, De Niro was succinct: “Fuck them.”
The Irishman will be available on Netflix November 27.