A jury sided with Graham Chase Robinson, former personal assistant to Hollywood legend Robert De Niro.
Although absolving De Niro of personal liability, the verdict held his company, Canal Productions, accountable for fostering a toxic workplace environment, resulting in a substantial award of $1.2 million to Robinson.
The attorneys from both sides celebrated the outcome. Robinson’s representative, Brent Hannafan, expressed immense satisfaction with the verdict, emphasizing the significance of the win. Conversely, De Niro’s lawyer, Richard Schoenstein, highlighted the exoneration of De Niro himself, focusing on the relatively modest award against the company and underlining the vast difference from the originally sought $12 million.
The trial spotlighted contentious testimonies. Robinson portrayed a once-beloved job devolving into a nightmare, attributing the ordeal to a partnership between De Niro and his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen. Meanwhile, De Niro and Chen contended that Robinson’s escalating demands led to the rift.
Email exchanges revealed Chen’s concerns about a perceived closeness between Robinson and De Niro. Robinson vehemently denied any romantic interest in De Niro, asserting a purely professional relationship.
During his testimony, De Niro acknowledged various aspects of Robinson’s claims, admitting to salary increments and increased job titles but also accusing her of misappropriating airline miles, betraying trust, and violating unwritten codes.
Robinson left her position due to emotional and mental distress, leading to ongoing anxiety and depression, which had hindered her professional life for years, despite numerous job applications.
The legal skirmish on the toxic workplace extended beyond the initial gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, with De Niro’s attorneys filing a counterclaim against Robinson, seeking damages and the return of airline miles, an aspect the jury outright dismissed.
The aftermath of this legal tussle remains uncertain, with potential post-verdict motions and considerations for an appeal looming, ensuring the saga continues to grip people’s attention and speculation.
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