Binge-watching has claimed another victim... Well, that and embezzling. Legendary Actor Robert De Niro's production company has filed a $6 million lawsuit with the state court in New York against ex-employee, Chase Robinson. The company accused her of binge-watching Friends and embezzling money at work.
The other shows on her binge list? Arrested Development, Schitt's Creek. But the one that gets the better of all of us, Friends, is making the most headlines. In case you were wondering, no, catching up on sitcoms was not in Robinson's job description. The suit alleges this.
"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."
And yes, the suit gives details. Allegedly, Chase Robinson managed to watch 55 episodes of Friends over a four-day period in January. Perhaps she was trying to get as many episodes in before it leaves Netflix and she has to pay for an HBO subscription. In another four-day period in March, she allegedly watched 20 episodes of Jason Bateman putting out his family's fires on Arrested Development and 10 episodes of Schitt's Creek starring the hilarious Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy.
Along with her very singular taste in television shows, the suit also claims Robinson had an extensive history of unauthorized spending of company funds. It alleges that she made $12,696.65 in unauthorized charges at Paola's Restaurant over a two-year period, some of it during her Friends binge-fest. In addition, it states that she spent $8,923.20 at Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods, and $32,000 for Ubers and taxis on the company's dime, as well as millions of frequent flyer miles under the Robert De Niro name for personal trips, hotel and restaurant charges.
Chase Robinson joined De Niro's loan-out company, Canal Productions, as his assistant in 2008. She went on to become "vice president of production and finance," with a salary estimated at $300,000.
In April, Robinson abruptly sent her resignation email. The suit alleges that she left the company due to "corporate sabotage" concerns. She also took the time to call questions about her spending habits and professional time-management issues as "ridiculous." It also states that Robinson drafted a recommendation letter for herself, but the Meet the Parents actor refused to reward her TV show and banking preferences, and did not sign it.
When he isn't wrapped up in the New York court system, Robert De Niro is continuing to be a national treasure on the big screen. With classics like Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America and Goodfellas in his repertoire, we continue to forgive the Dirty Grandpas and Little Fockers of them.
Next, you can catch De Niro in Joaquin Pheonix's highly anticipated Joker, and The Irishman from prolific director Martin Scorsese starring De Niro, Al Pacino, Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemons, Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci. On the production side, De Niro is behind The Irishman and the Artemis Fowl film expected in 2020. This story comes from Variety.