There's a sticky situation playing out around a sex tape that features Waffle House's former CEO Joe Rogers, Jr. Yes, sex tapes are being made even of the sixty-something leaders of beloved breakfast businesses.
In 2012, when he was still CEO of the chain restaurant, Rogers's housekeeper Mye Brindle accused him of forcing her to have sex with him for a decade in order for her to keep her job. Rogers defended himself by claiming the sex was consensual, and a judge agreed with him after reviewing a sex tape made by Brindle without Rogers's knowledge.
Now that sex tape is causing problems for Brindle and her lawyers. Rogers has claimed that Brindle's lawyers threatened release of the sex tape in order to pressure Roger to settle the lawsuit for millions of dollars; earlier this year, Rogers sued Brindle's attorneys, accusing them of trying to 'sextort' him. On top of that, the Associated Press reports that Brindle and her lawyers, John Butters and David Cohen, were indicted in Georgia this week over the secret recording. According to the AP:
Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard learned that the woman's attorneys sent her to a private investigator's office and she was given a spy camera that was used to record Rogers in his bedroom without his consent. Court documents say the woman also made 15 audio recordings of sexual encounters and kept a towel that held Rogers' DNA.
A spokesperson for Brindle's attorneys told Fusion that the lawyers gave the woman a referral to the private investigator but "did not advise her to make a surveillance tape." He told the AP that it was part of their legal strategy not an attempt at sextortion. The attorneys, said the spokesperson, "zealously represented their client, a victim of serial sexual abuse by her employer" and said that the decision by prosecutors to indict Brindle and her attorneys "re-victimize[s] the woman who dared to tell the truth about her powerful abuser and smear[s] the attorneys who represented her."
Now the two, along with Brindle are facing charges of what is technically considered eavesdropping, a felony in Georgia.
There's a lot of unpleasantness in this case, including the ruling which conflates making a sex tape with consent to have sex, but the evidence-gathering is certainly unorthodox. If your legal strategy involves making a sex tape, perhaps consider a different strategy.
* This post was updated and the headline changed after a spokesperson informed Fusion that the lawyers did not advise their client to make a sex tape.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org