A glum-looking Robert De Niro stepped out in Manhattan on Friday morning after sleeping off a bombshell $1.2 million loss to his former assistant.
The actor, 80, blew off steam with a morning bike ride with his security detail, wearing a beanie hat to fight the elements on a chilly morning in New York.
He grimaced as he left for the morning jaunt, where he wore a low-key look with a black overcoat and scarf after his staff were seen bundling a bicycle into an SUV.
De Niro is still reeling from a ruling in Manhattan court Thursday ordering his production company, Canal Productions, to pay his former assistant Graham Chase Robinson $1.2 million over gender discrimination allegations.
A glum looking Robert De Niro, 80, stepped out in Manhattan on Friday morning still reeling from his production company being found liable for discrimination damages the day before
The Oscar winning actor wore a beanie to fight the elements on a cold morning in New York
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 had been locked in a bitter four-year legal battle with Robinson that began when he sued her for alleged misuse of the company accounts.
Robinson, 41, was found not liable for those allegations on Thursday.
The verdict left the ex-staffer overcome with emotion as she beamed with happiness outside the courthouse.
The ruling came after five hours of jury deliberations, who decided that Robinson’s allegations that De Niro’s company discriminated against her by making her perform menial, sexist tasks.
According to Robinson, ‘creepy’ De Niro repeatedly branded her a ‘bitch’ and ordered her to give him back-scratches.
Her former boss was not found personally liable for claims of gender discrimination or retaliation, although Robinson’s allegations all centered on his bad behavior.
Jurors did not explain why Canal was found liable but De Niro was not. Canal will likely also have to pay Chase Robinson’s hefty legal fees.
At the conclusion of the trial, Robinson’s lawyer David Sanford said they were ‘delighted’.
Staff for the 80-year-old were seen loading a bicycle into an SUV as he stepped out on a morning jaunt
De Niro wore an all-black ensemble with a sweater, large overcoat and 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 on Thursday. De Niro was not present
‘We are delighted that the jury saw what we saw and returned a verdict in Chase Robinson’s favor against Robert De Niro’s company, Canal Productions,’ said Sanford.
‘Not only did Ms Robinson win her case against Canal but the jury completely vindicated Ms Robinson by finding De Niro’s claims against her to be without merit.’
In response, De Niro’s attorney Richard Schoenstein said they were planning on reviewing the damages amount awarded by the jury.
However, he added that it was ‘gratifying’ that De Niro was not found personally liable.
‘I’m not going to comment on the verdict – we have to analyze the damage amount,’ said Schoenstein.
‘It strikes me as a compromise. Obviously they were seeking $12 million and they got $600,000.’
He added: ‘I am very grateful for the service of the jury.
‘We are really happy they separated out Bob from this. It is a dispute between an employee and their former employer.’
Asked for De Niro’s response, Schoenstein said: ‘I haven’t called him yet, I don’t know (if he knows the verdict).
‘There may be a basis 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 court case ended noon local time on Thursday after a trial that was marked by several moments of hostility.
De Niro grew noticeably irate as he testified in his defense on October 31, at one moment losing his temper at Robinson screaming: ‘Shame on you Chase Robinson! God dammit!’
The most jaw-dropping claims saw Robinson brand her former boss of ‘creepy’ and ‘disgusting’ requests for back-scratches.
Sobbing as she spoke on November 3, Robinson said: ‘I mentioned 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 attorneys argued there was nothing untoward or sexist about receiving a back scratch, and his requests did not constitute gender discrimination.
She also accused the 80-year-old of calling her a ‘bitch’ on two or three occasions over 11 years of working for him, including accusing her of acting ‘like a little bitch’ after a fire broke out at his Manhattan townhouse.
Robinson said the slur was deployed again in December 2017, when De Niro lashed out after being unable to find Christmas presents at his home.
‘He was cursing left and right. I was trying to sort it but he just said I was being a bitch.’
De Niro is pictured with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen in June. Robinson and Chen clashed, with Chen expressing worries over Robinson’s spending
Robinson began working for Canal Productions in 2008, starting as an executive assistant on a $75,000 salary.
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 effectively De Niro’s fixer and says she was expected to be on-call 24/7, 365 days of the year to help him with his children, family and medical care.
However, her allegations against De Niro were put down by the actor’s lawyers to a clash with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen, who allegedly ‘humiliated’ her by forcing her to order vacuum cleaners and set up director Martin Scorsese’s birthday bash.
Chen accused Robinson of overspending and blasted the former employee as ‘obsessive, psychotic and dangerous’ while on the stand last week.
On Tuesday, Robinson’s team’s psychiatrist Dr Robert Goldstein diagnosed her with generalized anxiety disorder linked to her employment at Canal.
The practicing psychiatrist said Robinson suffered from the ‘serious and often disabling psychological condition’ after evaluating her in January 2019, and reviewing more than three years worth of medical records.
This led to a stern response from De Niro’s team, who hired a psychiatrist to look at Robinson’s medical records, assessing her to be ‘narcissistic and paranoid.’