Robert De Niro’s Company Sues Ex-Employee For Embezzlement, Binge-Watching ‘Friends’ at WorkRolling Stone — Claire Shaffer
The lawsuit was filed in New York state court on Saturday against Chase Robinson, who was hired as an assistant to De Niro in 2008 and later promoted to “vice president of production and finance” at Canal. Robinson resigned from the company in April amid growing concerns of “company sabotage.” Her salary at the time, according to the suit, was $300,000.
Even while earning six figures, the suit alleges that Robinson racked up exorbitant hotel, restaurant and travel costs on the company card. She reportedly spent $8,923.20 at Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods, $32,000 for Ubers and taxis and $12,696.65 at the Madison Avenue restaurant Paola’s, over a two-year period. Per The New York Post, other expenditures included floral arrangements (she spent $1,311 on one arrangement for her birthday), iPhones, dogsitters and a Louis Vuitton handbag.
A representative for De Niro declined Rolling Stone‘s request for comment. Attempts to reach Robinson for comment were not immediately successful.
Robinson also allegedly used 3 million of De Niro’s frequent flyer miles for personal trips and vacations and transferred 5 million miles to her personal account, at a total estimated value of $125,000.
The suit also claims that Robinson had a very standard Netflix queue — Friends, Arrested Development, Schitt’s Creek — which she binged to an unhealthy degree at work. The company alleges that Robinson watched 55 episodes of Friends over a four-day period in January, and that she watched 20 episodes of Arrested Development and 10 episodes of Schitt’s Creek over a four-day period in March.
“Watching shows on Netflix was not in any way part of or related to the duties and responsibilities of Robinson’s employment and, on information and belief, was done for her personal entertainment, amusement and pleasure at times when she was being paid to work,” the suit alleges.
Finally, the suit alleges that Robinson drafted a recommendation letter for herself upon her resignation from the company, which De Niro refused to sign.
De Niro is currently locked in another legal battle at Manhattan Supreme Court with his ex-wife, Grace Hightower, over his alleged half-billion dollar fortune.