Business & Technology

Robert De Niro’s company sues ex-employee for binge-watching Neflix, ‘Friends,’ ‘Arrested Development,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ at work

Robert De Niro’s loan-out company Canal Productions filed a $6 million lawsuit against its former employee Chase Robinson in the Manhattan Supreme Court in New York on August 17, 2019. She was accused of embezzling money and binge-watching Netflix during work hours.

In 2008, Robinson was hired as an assistant to De Niro. Eventually, she was promoted to vice president of production and finance at Canal Productions, Variety has learned.

As Canal Productions vice president of production and finance, Robinson netted a $300,000 salary. On April 6, 2019, she resigned from the loan-out company and she sent a resignation email calling all the accusations against her ridiculous.

De Niro refused to sign the recommendation letter Robinson drafted for herself. Upon her resignation, Canal Productions found out that she used the company’s American Express card to spend tens of thousands of dollars on expensive trips, dinners, floral arrangements, iPhones, Uber rides and dogsitters as well as a Louis Vuitton handbag, Page Six reported.

Canal Productions accused Robinson of rarely coming into the office and spending too much time watching television sitcoms on Netflix while at work. Watching shows on the app was neither part of nor related to the duties and responsibilities of her employment, the company complained.

According to the company, Robinson watched 55 “Friends” episodes between January 8, 2019 and January 11, 2019. On one of those days, she allegedly ordered lunch from Caviar San Francisco and had dinner at posh Madison Ave. eatery Paola’s Restaurant, which she charged on the company card.

Furthermore, the company accused Robinson of making $12,696.65 in unauthorized charges at Paola’s Restaurant over a two-year period, $32,000 for Ubers and taxis and $8,923.20 at Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods. She allegedly watched 20 “Arrested Development” episodes and 10 “Schitt’s Creek” episodes from March 25, 2019 to March 29, 2019.

Because of Robinson’s senior role within the company, she was able to prove her own expenses. Meanwhile, get to know more about the sitcoms she binge-watched on Netflix here:


Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, “Friends” aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004 for 10 seasons. It starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer.

“Arrested Development”

Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, “Arrested Development” originally aired on Fox  from November 2, 2003 to February 10, 2006 for three seasons and continued with its fourth and fifth seasons on Netflix. It stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter.

“Schitt’s Creek”

Created by Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek” premiered on CBC Television on January 13, 2015. Joining Daniel and Eugene in the cast are Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Emily Hampshire, Jenn Robertson, Chris Elliott, Tim Rozon, Sarah Levy, Dustin Milligan and Noah Reid.

Meanwhile, here is De Niro in a recent “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” interview:

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