NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2023 (GlobeNewswire) — The trial to resolve a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by Sanford Heisler Sharp on behalf of Graham Chase Robinson against the actor Robert De Niro and his company Canal Productions starts Monday, October 30, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York before Judge Lewis J. Liman. The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.
Robinson was De Niro’s lead assistant for over a decade and eventually became the Vice President for Production and Finance at Canal. Robinson alleges that De Niro’s girlfriend Tiffany Chen falsely accused Robinson of being in love with De Niro; De Niro then retaliated after Robinson complained, stripping Robinson of her job duties and driving her to resign. The trial is expected to feature text messages and emails between Chen and De Niro concerning Robinson.
Robinson is suing De Niro and Canal for violating the New York City Human Rights Law, seeking compensatory and punitive damages and other relief. Initially filed in October 2019, the suit also alleges that De Niro himself subjected Robinson to sexist comments and conduct, assigned her stereotypically female job duties that were inconsistent with her job title, and paid her less than a male employee based on sex-stereotypes because he was a breadwinner and had a family to support. Canal has countersued and is demanding that Robinson return several years of her salary to Canal.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday. The trial will be led by the Co-Chairs of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Trial Practice Group, Brent Hannafan and Andrew Macurdy, both former federal prosecutors. They will be joined by H. Vincent McKnight, the Co-Chair of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Whistleblower and Qui Tam Practice, and Kate MacMullin, attorney in Sanford Heisler Sharp’s New York office. Robinson’s legal team also includes David Sanford and Jeremy Heisler in the firm’s New York office and Michael Lockman in the firm’s Nashville office.
“Chase Robinson is ready for her day in court,” Hannafan said. “She looks forward to telling the truth about the discrimination and retaliation she endured from Robert De Niro and those close to him.”
Macurdy added, “Canal’s counterclaims against Ms. Robinson are baseless and a transparent attempt to distract from Canal’s unlawful conduct. We trust that the jurors will recognize that.”
A dozen or more witnesses may testify during the trial, including De Niro, his girlfriend Tiffany Chen, his lawyer Tom Harvey, his accountant Michael Tasch, and a number of current or former employees who overlapped with Robinson at Canal from 2008 to 2019.
The case is Robinson v. De Niro et al., case number 1:19-cv-09156, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
About Sanford Heisler Sharp
Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest and civil rights law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Atlanta, Baltimore, Nashville, and San Diego. The firm focuses on employment discrimination, Title IX, wage and hour, whistleblower and qui tam, criminal/sexual violence, financial services, and Asian American litigation and finance matters. Our lawyers have recovered over $1 billion for our clients through many verdicts and settlements.
In 2022, The National Law Journal named Sanford Heisler Sharp Civil Rights Firm of the Year, and it recognized the firm in 2021 as both the Employment Rights Firm of the Year and the Human Rights Firm of the Year. Law360 recognized the firm as Employment Practice Group of the Year in 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2016. Benchmark Litigation recognized the firm as the Labor & Employment Firm of the Year in 2021 and 2020.
If you have potential legal claims and are seeking counsel, please call 646-768-7070 or email [email protected]. Attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp would like to have the opportunity to help you.
For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, at 201-788-0142 or [email protected].