A somber-looking Robert De Niro stepped out in Manhattan Friday morning after sleeping off the bad news that his former assistant had scored a major $1.2 million legal victory over his production company.
The actor, 80, blew off steam during a morning bike ride with his security detail, wearing a beanie to combat the elements on a chilly New York morning.
He grimaced as he left for the morning outing, where he wore a low-key look with a black overcoat and scarf after his staff spotted a bike dangling from an SUV.
De Niro is still reeling from a Manhattan court ruling Thursday that ordered his production company Canal Productions to pay his former assistant Graham Chase Robinson $1.2 million over gender discrimination allegations.
The somber-looking Robert De Niro, 80, stepped out of Manhattan on Friday morning, still reeling from the fact that his production company was found liable for discrimination damages the day before.
The Oscar-winning actor wore a beanie to combat the elements on a chilly New York morning
De Niro’s former assistant Graham Chase Robinson celebrates outside Manhattan federal court after a jury awarded her $1.2 million in her gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit
De Niro was involved in a four-year legal battle with Robinson, which began when he sued her for allegedly misusing the company’s accounts.
Robinson, 41, was found not liable on those charges Thursday.
The verdict left the former employee overcome with emotion as she beamed with happiness outside the courthouse.
The ruling came after five hours of jury deliberation, which decided that Robinson’s allegations that De Niro’s company discriminated against her by making her perform menial, sexist tasks.
According to Robinson, the “creepy” De Niro repeatedly labeled her a “bitch” and ordered her to give him back problems.
Her former boss was not found personally liable for claims of gender discrimination or retaliation, although Robinson’s allegations all related to his bad behavior.
Jurors did not explain why Canal was found liable but not De Niro. Canal will also likely have to pay Chase Robinson’s high legal fees.
At the end of the trial, Robinson’s attorney David Sanford said they were “elated.”
The 80-year-old’s staff was seen loading a bicycle into an SUV as he stepped out for a morning ride
De Niro wore an all-black ensemble with a sweater, a large overcoat and a scarf
During his week-long trial, De Niro was branded “creepy and disgusting” by his former assistant
Robinson (center) looked overjoyed as she left the courtroom Thursday. De Niro was not present
“We are thrilled that the jury saw what we saw and returned a verdict in favor of Chase Robinson against Robert De Niro’s company, Canal Productions,” Sanford said.
“Not only did Ms. Robinson win her case against Canal, but the jury fully vindicated Ms. Robinson by finding that De Niro’s claims against her were without merit.”
In response, De Niro’s lawyer Richard Schoenstein said they planned to review the amount of damages awarded by the jury.
However, he added that it was “satisfactory” that De Niro was not held personally liable.
‘I’m not going to comment on the verdict; we have to analyze the amount of damage,” Schönstein said.
‘It seems like a compromise to me. Apparently they were looking for $12 million and got $600,000.”
He added: “I am very grateful for the jury’s service.
“We’re very happy that they separated Bob from this. It is a dispute between an employee and his former employer.’
Asked about De Niro’s response, Schoenstein said: “I haven’t called him yet, I don’t know (if he knows the verdict).
‘There may be reason to reduce the amount once or twice.’
A courtroom sketch of De Niro testifying in court on Tuesday, October 31
The week-and-a-half trial ended at noon local time on Thursday after a trial marked by several moments of hostility.
De Niro became noticeably irate while testifying in his defense on October 31, at one point losing his temper at Robinson and shouting, “Shame on you Chase Robinson!” Goddamnit!’
In the most stunning claims, Robinson branded her former boss with ‘creepy’ and ‘disgusting’ requests for back pain.
Sobbing as she spoke on Nov. 3, Robinson said, “I said there was a back scratcher he could use instead.” He said, “I prefer the way you do it.”
“It was creepy, just disgusting.”
De Niro’s lawyers argued that there was nothing unwanted or sexist about getting an epidural, and that his requests did not constitute gender discrimination.
She also accused the 80-year-old of calling her a “bitch” two or three times in the 11 years she worked for him, including accusing her of acting “like a little bitch” after fire had broken out in his Manhattan townhouse.
Robinson said the slur was used again in December 2017, when De Niro lashed out after being unable to find Christmas presents at his home.
‘He was swearing left and right. I tried to work it out, but he just said I was a bitch.”
De Niro is pictured with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen in June. Robinson and Chen got into an argument, with Chen expressing concerns about Robinson’s spending
Robinson began working for Canal Productions in 2008, starting as an executive assistant with a salary of $75,000.
By the time she resigned from De Niro’s company in April 2019, she rose to the rank of vice president of production and finance and was making $300,000 a year.
Robinson was essentially De Niro’s fixer and says she was expected to be available 24/7, 365 days a year to help him with his children, family and medical care.
However, her allegations against De Niro were dismissed by the actor’s lawyers following a clash with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen, who allegedly “humiliated” her by forcing her to order vacuum cleaners and organize director Martin Scorsese’s birthday party.
Chen accused Robinson of overspending and branded the former employee “obsessive, psychotic and dangerous” while on the witness stand last week.
On Tuesday, Robinson’s psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Goldstein, diagnosed her with generalized anxiety disorder related to her work at Canal.
The practicing psychiatrist said Robinson suffered from the “severe and often debilitating mental illness” after evaluating her in January 2019 and reviewing more than three years of medical records.
This prompted a stern response from De Niro’s team, who hired a psychiatrist to review Robinson’s medical records and assessed her as “narcissistic and paranoid.”