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Robert de Niro sued by ex-aide

In her lawsuit, Chase Robinson is seeking damages for gender discrimination, harassment, back pay and labour law violation.

FILE: Robert De Niro speaks onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on 10 June 2018 in New York City. Picture: Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions/AFP.

LOS ANGELES - Robert de Niro's former assistant is suing him for $12 million for gender discrimination and harassment.

The 76-year-old actor had taken legal action against Chase Robinson for allegedly embezzling company funds and she has hit back against his $6 million lawsuit with one of her own.

In her lawsuit, Robinson - who is seeking damages for gender discrimination, harassment, back pay and labour law violations - claimed the Joker actor had treated her like an "office wife" with duties including scratching his back, buttoning his shirts, doing laundry and vacuuming and subjected her to "unwanted physical contact".

She also accused De Niro of calling her names such as "bi##h" and "brat" and alleged he underpaid her compared with a male employee doing similar work.

Her lawsuit stated: "Robert De Niro is someone who has clung to old mores. He does not accept the idea that men should treat women as equals. He does not care that gender discrimination in the workplace violates the law."

The 37-year-old former employee quit over email in April 2019 after 11 years working for the actor in various positions because the work had become "so unbearable".

The Irishman star's lawyer has branded the allegations against the actor as absurd.

In his own lawsuit, which was filed in August, the Taxi Driver star accused his ex-aide of running up expenses and binge-watching Netflix during working hours.

He claimed she had charged hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal expenses on the company credit card, including $32,000 on taxis and over $12,000 at an Italian restaurant over the course of two years.

The actor also accused Robinson of spending astronomical amounts of time using the company's Netflix account, including 55 episodes of Friends over four days in January and alleged she often loafed during work hours, streaming shows like Schitt's Creek and Arrested Development.

However, Robinson insisted she and a colleague had one show on in the background while working on a monotonous task in the office and sometimes used _Friends _as "white noise" as she was falling asleep but "never binge-watched during working hours."

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