Cobb County Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard ruled last Friday that a former housekeeper who filmed sex with former Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers had violated his privacy. The housekeeper, Mye Brindle, alleged that Rogers forced her to perform sex acts as a condition for her continued employment.
Brindle made 15 audio recordings and kept a Clintonesque piece of evidence — a towel with Rogers’ DNA.
It is an interesting case since Brindle was a part to the act. However, Rogers did not consent to the filming or the showing of the act to third parties.
Rogers, who is married, still serves as chairman of the company’s board of directors.
There is an allegation that the woman’s attorneys sent her to a private investigator’s office where she was given a spy camera used to record Rogers in his bedroom without his consent. Now there is a question of possible criminal charges, including charges against her counsel who has declined to recuse themselves. There is a motion to disqualify David Cohen and John Butters. Cohen however insists that “We did not advise her to go film him.”
Georgia has an interesting standard for such recordings. It is a one-party consent state for recording: “16-11-66. (a) Nothing in Code Section 16-11-62 shall prohibit a person from intercepting a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception.” However, it makes it a crime to use a hidden camera without the consent of all parties”
It shall be unlawful for:
(1) Any person in a clandestine manner intentionally to overhear, transmit, or record or attempt to overhear, transmit, or record the private conversation of another which shall originate in any private place;
(2) Any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful:
(A) To use any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons incarcerated in any jail, correctional institution, or any other facility in which persons who are charged with or who have been convicted of the commission of a crime are incarcerated, provided that such equipment shall not be used while the prisoner is discussing his or her case with his or her attorney;
(B) For an owner or occupier of real property to use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are on the property or an approach thereto in areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy; or
(C) To use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are within the curtilage of the residence of the person using such device. A photograph, videotape, or record made in accordance with this subparagraph, or a copy thereof, may be disclosed by such resident to the district attorney or a law enforcement officer and shall be admissible in a judicial proceeding, without the consent of any person observed, photographed, or recorded;
(3) Any person to go on or about the premises of another or any private place, except as otherwise provided by law, for the purpose of invading the privacy of others by eavesdropping upon their conversations or secretly observing their activities;
(4) Any person intentionally and secretly to intercept by the use of any device, instrument, or apparatus the contents of a message sent by telephone, telegraph, letter, or by any other means of private communication;
(5) Any person to divulge to any unauthorized person or authority the content or substance of any private message intercepted lawfully in the manner provided for in Code Section 16-11-65;
(6) Any person to sell, give, or distribute, without legal authority, to any person or entity any photograph, videotape, or record, or copies thereof, of the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view without the consent of all persons observed; or
(7) Any person to commit any other acts of a nature similar to those set out in paragraphs (1) through (6) of this Code section which invade the privacy of another.