- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Despite being a little tardy in his request, Robert De Niro can bring his claims against a former employee into a federal court battle she initiated.
The legal fight began when De Niro and his Canal Productions in August 2019 sued Graham Chase Robinson in New York state court, alleging the former exec abused company credit cards and binged Friends while on the clock. Robinson responded by filing a gender discrimination and retaliation suit in federal court, claiming she was treated as an “office wife” in an environment that doesn’t treat women as equals.
The actor-producer asked U.S. District Judge Katharine H. Parker for permission to amend his answer to Robinson’s complaint and re-plead the claims he’d made in state court, after that matter was stayed in light of the federal proceedings.
While the motion to amend was filed past the scheduled deadline, Parker says that’s largely the state court’s fault and not a lack of diligence on the part of De Niro and Canal.
“If Canal had been successful in keeping its claims in State Court, there would be no need for the present motion,” writes Parker in the opinion, which is posted below. “However, the State Court did not issue its decision until well after this Court’s deadline for amendments had passed. Canal seeking to maintain its claims in State Court over Plaintiff’s objection does not equate to a lack of diligence; it was entitled to obtain a ruling from the State Court before making a decision about moving its claims to this Court.”
The court didn’t buy Robinson’s argument allowing the counterclaim to be amended would be prejudicial or cause significant delay in proceedings — or that multiple of the claims asserted are futile.
Parker also denied Robinson’s bid to keep allegations about her Netflix watching, job duties and compensation out of the federal dispute, finding “none of the paragraphs are so irrelevant to warrant striking them from the proposed pleading.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day