Nov 14 The chairman of the Waffle House
restaurant chain said he had consensual sex with a former
housekeeper, but said she is now falsely accusing him of sexual
harassment for her own financial gain.
"I am a victim of my own stupidity, but I am not going to be
a victim of a crime - extortion," executive Joe Rogers Jr. said
in a statement provided by his attorney on Wednesday.
A Georgia woman filed a police report in late September that
included lurid accusations of repeated sexual harassment by
Rogers from 2003 to May 2012.
The 43-year-old woman said in the report that she endured
constant badgering by Rogers, who requested that she perform
sexual favors for him, many of which she said she had refused.
According to the report, she put up with such treatment
because she needed the job to support herself and her son, but
resigned in June after her son got a full college scholarship.
The woman filed the police report after being sued by Rogers
in mid-September, her attorney said last week. Lawyer David
Cohen said his client also had filed a lawsuit against Rogers.
Rogers' attorneys sought an injunction against the woman on
Sept. 14 to block her from distributing videos she claimed
depicted Rogers engaged in sex acts, the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution reported on Tuesday. The woman then filed a
sexual harassment lawsuit against him, the paper said. The suits
initially were filed under seal, but the newspaper said a judge
ordered some documents to be unsealed on Tuesday.
In his statement, Rogers said the woman worked as his
housekeeper from 2003 to 2008. She was rehired as his house
manager in late 2009, a job she held until she quit in June
2012, he said.
"Over an almost eight-year period when I was separated,
single and re-married, I had a series of infrequent, consensual
sexual encounters with my housekeeper," Rogers said. "That was
wrong of me, and I am very sorry for the pain and embarrassment
I've caused my wife and family."
Rogers said he received a "threatening blackmail letter"
from the housekeeper's attorney in July that contained "false
allegations and strong threats." He said the attorneys indicated
she wanted millions of dollars from Rogers.
Rogers said the housekeeper and her attorneys filed a false
police report after he initiated legal proceedings against her.
"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," he
Cohen could not be immediately reached for comment by phone
or email on Wednesday.
The Norcross, Georgia-based Waffle House chain has more
1,500 locations in the southern United States that are notable
for being open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Paul Thomasch and