A settlement has been reached in the seven-year court dispute between Waffle House Chairman and former CEO Joseph Rogers Jr. and his former housekeeper, Mye Brook Brindle of Acworth, who secretly recorded them having sex.
Rogers’ civil complaint filed in Cobb County Superior Court on Sept. 14, 2012, attempting to block Brindle from distributing the sex tape or using it to extort money, finally reached the jury trial stage this week, but was ultimately resolved in a confidential settlement between parties during opening statements Tuesday morning.
Details of the settlement are being kept secret and are likely to stay that way, as are any recordings made by Brindle of her sexual encounters with the Waffle House chairman, Brindle’s lawyer Hylton Dupree told the MDJ on Tuesday afternoon.
“Both sides are satisfied with the resolution,” Dupree said. “I think that she (Brindle) is relieved it’s over.”
Dupree would not say whether the settlement involved a payout from Rogers to Brindle, and would not disclose any other details of the agreement, citing confidentiality.
The recordings of Rogers and Brindle having sex are under seal at the court and will not likely become publicly available, he said, adding that mid-trial settlements are not uncommon.
“Often times my experience has been that cases are settled, as we say, on the courthouse steps. This is not the first attempt that settlement has been made.”
Dupree said the agreement between parties followed two unsuccessful attempts at court-ordered mediation, and that discussions in regards to the settlement had occurred over the past few days.
The legal fight between Rogers and Brindle and their respective attorneys has comprised a myriad of lawsuits, countersuits, motions and appeals in at least four different courts over the last seven years.
At the crux of the matter is whether the sex between Rogers and Brindle was consensual, if she had the right to secretly record them having sex, whether she intended to use that recording to extort money from Rogers, whether her lawyers supplied her with a recording device to do so and if that was legal.
Now that a settlement has been reached in the Cobb Superior Court case, the only legal action pending between Rogers and Brindle is an appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia, Dupree said.
That appeal, lodged by Brindle’s lawyers, David Cohen and John Butters, seeks a review of the Georgia Court of Appeals decision in March this year that allows Rogers to sue Cohen, Butters and Dupree for their representation of Brindle in the sex tape case.
The Supreme Court of Georgia has yet to decide whether to hear the appeal, a spokesperson told the MDJ on Tuesday.
Cohen said he hopes to learn of the Supreme Court’s decision by the end of this year.
“I think we just need to wait on the Supreme Court to take a look at this. They will address the issue in due time,” Cohen told the MDJ, adding that he could not comment further on the appeal or the settlement between parties in the Cobb Superior Court.
Over the course of the dispute between Rogers and Brindle, a judge ruled that Brindle violated the law by recording Rogers without his permission, and a grand jury in Fulton County indicted Brindle and her attorneys on criminal charges of conspiracy to commit extortion and unlawful surveillance, but those charges were dismissed in trial court, promoting state prosecutors to appeal the dismissal.
Facts of the case, as outlined in court documents, state Rogers and Brindle had sex over the course of her employment as his housekeeper, and that the sex ended when she resigned at the end of June 2012.
In July that year, Brindle told Rogers she had numerous audio and video recordings of their sexual encounters, records show.
Rogers claimed Brindle wanted “millions” of dollars in exchange for keeping the recordings private, while Brindle maintained she was the victim of sexual harassment by Rogers as evidenced in the recordings.
Neither Brindle’s nor Rogers’ attorneys responded to requests for comment as of press time.