The former CEO of the Waffle House became tearful as an Atlanta jury listened to a lurid recording of him having sex with his housekeeper, during her trial for allegedly trying to extort him for millions.
Joe Rogers, 65, sat in court Wednesday and shook his head as jurors heard the secret audio recording his housekeeper Mye Brindle, 47, had made of them having sex in 2012.
A video recording was also played that lasted several minutes according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. While it was played in court, Rogers bit his nails, as the jury intently listened in.
Brindle made 15 audio files and at least one video file of their sexual encounters. It is unclear if any other recordings will be played in court.
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Former Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers (left) says he had an affair with his housekeeper, Mye Brindle (right) for ten years – she claims it was sexual harassment. She then secretly taped their sexual encounters
On Tuesday, Rogers, who is now chairman for the chain, took the stand to testify against Brindle. She and her attorneys are accused of conspiring to record her and Rogers in a sexual act without his knowledge.
During his testimony, Rogers said the audio the jury would hear was a typical sexual encounter with Brindle, who he had been having an affair with for more than nine years.
Fran Rogers was married to Joe Rogers through his sexual liaisons with their housekeeper
Meanwhile Brindle’s defense attorneys have argued she was justified in making the tapes as evidence she was sexually harassed for years – while Rogers says their encounters were always consensual.
In Georgia Supreme Court in June of 2016, Brindle, along with her attorneys John Butters and David Cohen were indicted on charges that they tried to force Rogers to pay millions of dollars to prevent the recording from being released.
Rogers said he was threatened with a letter on July 16, 2012 that if he didn’t pay up, the sex video would cause ‘media attention,’ ‘injurious publicity,’ ‘protracted litigation,’ and ‘divorce and destruction of families.’
Rogers, who is married, claims he had ‘infrequent’ consensual sex with Brindle, while she worked for him between 2003 and June 2012.
After she quit her job, she filed a lawsuit claiming Rogers forced her to have sex with him as part of her employment. A judge later ruled that Brindle was a ‘willing participant’ in the sexual encounters.
The court file says that Brindle entered Rogers’ bathroom after his wife, Fran, left the house and filmed as he shaved while naked.
‘After Brindle adjusted Rogers’ back, Brindle and Rogers engaged in a consensual sex act which was recorded by the illegal spy camera,’ the lawsuit states. It’s unclear exactly when that sexual encounter was filmed.
Rogers’ father opened his first Waffle House in Atlanta in 1955, growing the company into a major chain of restaurants throughout the South. There are now more than 2,100 locations in 25 states
Brian Robinson, spokesman for Brindle’s attorneys, said the indictment sends a ‘chilling message’ to victims of sexual abuse and those seeking help to attain justice.
‘The two attorneys indicted zealously represented their client, a victim of serial sexual abuse by her employer,’ Robinson said. ‘These indictments re-victimize the woman who dared to tell the truth about her powerful abuser and smear the attorneys who represented her.’
A judge ruled that the covertly recorded video didn’t imply that Rogers forced the woman to do anything she didn’t want to.
She also kept a towel that held Rogers’ DNA.
It was Brindle’s attorneys who sent her to a private investigator’s office, where she was given a spy camera that was used to record Rogers in his bedroom without his consent, according to court documents.
Cohen and Butters say that when Rogers learned Brindle planned to sue him for sexual harassment, he retaliated against her and her attorneys. They say Rogers threatened to sue any attorney representing Brindle for joining a criminal conspiracy against him.
Brindle, Butters and Cohen are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy to commit unlawful eavesdropping and eavesdropping.
The district attorney’s office said secretly recording someone in his own bedroom is eavesdropping, and is a felony in Georgia. It carries a sentence of one to five years.
Cohen was ordered to pay $198,393 in legal fees for filing unnecessary litigation in the Rogers case, with the judge saying that Rogers shouldn’t have had to hire lawyers to defend himself against threats of disclosing sexual misconduct allegations.
Rogers has previously spoken of his regret over the affair, saying he ‘let a lot of folks down’.
‘That was wrong of me and I am very sorry for the pain and embarrassment I’ve caused my wife and family. There is no excuse for what I have done,’ he said. ‘I am a victim of my own stupidity, but I am not going to be a victim of a crime – extortion.’
He added: ‘As personally embarrassing as this situation is for me, I am committed to the legal and law enforcement process to expose the motives of my former housekeeper and her attorneys.’
Rogers’ father opened his first Waffle House in Atlanta in 1955, growing the company into a major chain of restaurants throughout the South. There are now more than 2,100 locations in 25 states.