By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
It was the poor man's answer to pay-per-view. Late at night, George Corporaal, president of Glass Service Co., would be dressed as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, butchering the word sweetheart and offering customers a complimentary box of steaks. Then there was George Corporaal, fake facial hair Krazy Glued to smorgasbord jowls, doing his best Brando in a homoerotic homage to The Godfather. Or George Corporaal, looking a little like Larry Flynt (before the fall), flanked by three gussied-up gals in a 30-second set piece dubbed "Georgie's Angels."
These windshield-repair spots--which played best on Twin Cities cable, but could also be heard on local radio--had that shot-in-the-rec-room feel of an early-'90s porn production. There was set furniture styled from particleboard; drug-store makeup, liberally applied to withstand the 1,000-watt floodlights; and clinging costumes, fashioned from the finest stain-resistant fabrics. Capping off the backroom-video vibe were the cast members, who looked like the sort of folks you might run into at the Red Lobster lounge on I-494, looking to trade up sweethearts between shots of Cuervo.
Turns out low art may imitate the high life. In a lawsuit filed in Ramsey County District Court on August 16, 2001, two employees at Glass Service Co., Lisa Johnson and Karlee Repp, claim that Corporaal sexually harassed them and created a corporate climate that fostered said behavior. The million-dollar lawsuit additionally alleges that the company, also named as a defendant, retaliated against the women when they protested.
The plaintiffs' 25-page complaint begins by singling out Corporaal's ads--which, perhaps not coincidentally, have been toned down and run less frequently over the past year--for being both sexually explicit and offensive. It alleges that the auteur behind the ads required his employees to appear on camera and may have been a little, um...too close to his material.
When the suit was filed, Glass Service attorney Chuck Lloyd told the press the women's claims were without merit. Over the past few months, Johnson and Repp's attorneys have refused to discuss the still-pending case, saying only that things were at a "sensitive stage." Last week, the clerk of courts in Ramsey County informed City Pages that a motion had been filed to "dismiss the case with prejudice," which suggests that a settlement was reached. Whatever the final agreement, we have to think it should involve a least a case of prime-cut sirloin.
Here, then, are excerpts from the original court document--the civil court complaint in which the women describe their accusations against Corporaal and his company. Much like a missive in Penthouse "Forum," it begins with the unseemly (ogling at a company Christmas party, boorish behavior) and ends in a lurid flourish (keep an eye out for the sex toys!) Oh yeah, and neither Marlon Brando nor Humphrey Bogart have ever gotten their windshields fixed at Glass Service Co.
State of Minnesota
County of Ramsey
District Court, Second Judicial District
Case Type: (14) Other Civil
File No. CX-01-7600