the law

Robert De Niro’s Ex-Assistant Moves to Dismiss Friends Binge-watch Lawsuit

Robert De Niro Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Back in August, Robert De Niro sued a former employee for allegedly expensing an exorbitant amount on things like meals and car services — and also for maybe watching more than 50 hours of the show Friends on Netflix over the course of four days while she was supposed to be working. Then that former employee, Graham Chase Robinson, countersued him for gender discrimination. Last night, Robinson’s team filed a motion in New York to dismiss the suit filed against her by the actor’s company, Canal Productions, or place a stay on it until a final judgment is handed down in her lawsuit against the company first. The motion asserts that Canal’s lawsuit against Robinson was preemptive retaliation when they learned she would file a claim against them, and asks that, if their suit is not dismissed, that certain portions of it be stricken.

One of the parts Robinson’s team wants out is the section entitled “Binging, Loafing, and Theft of Time,” in which the accusation about the Friends binge was made, with the new motion characterizing the claim as “inflammatory,” “scandalous,” and “prejudicial.” The newly filed document reads: “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.” Robinson’s lawyers are also asking that the $6 million in damages Canal is seeking from her be stricken down, calling the number “excessive.” The ex-employee worked at De Niro’s company for ten years between 2008 and 2018, and is seeking $12 million in her lawsuit for gender-based mistreatment and harassment.

Robert De Niro’s Ex-Assistant Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit