9:25am PT by Ashley Cullins
Robert De Niro's Ex-Employee Asks Court to Toss $6M Suit Alleging 'Friends' Binge-Watching at Work
Robert De Niro's former employee is asking a New York court to toss a complaint filed against her by her ex-boss — claiming it's nothing more than unlawful retaliation because she had threatened a suit before his was filed.
De Niro's Canal Productions in August filed a $6 million lawsuit against former vp production and finance Graham Chase Robinson and alleged that she not only abused company credit cards, but also binge-watched Netflix (including 55 episodes of Friends) while on the clock.
Robinson fired back with a gender discrimination and retaliation suit alleging that De Niro doesn't believe "men should treat women as equals" and that she was subjected to sexually charged comments and underpaid. De Niro's lawyer Tom Harvey called her allegations "beyond absurd."
Now, Robinson is asking the court to either pause De Niro's "retaliatory, abusive and deficient" suit or throw it out in favor of the one she filed in New York federal court. Alternatively, Robinson wants the court to strike the requested damages as excessive and toss the claims related to binge-watching.
"These inflammatory accusations are scandalous and prejudicial — so much so that they 'went viral,'" writes Alexandra Harwin in the filing, which is posted in full below. "The allegations are also irrelevant to Canal’s claims: there is no case law holding that purportedly watching television during work gives rise to liability under any of the legal theories Canal advances."
Harwin also argues that the fraud claim should be dismissed because its "inherently implausible" that Robinson took almost half a year off "on the sly" because De Niro insisted that she be available around the clock and Canal was "keenly aware" of her schedule.