Corporaal Punishment

Tits v. Glass: The harassment suit

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

Lisa Johnson and Karlee Repp, Plaintiffs
v.
Glass Service Company, Inc., George Corporaal, individually and as officer of GSC, Inc., and William Davies, individually and as officer of GSC, Inc.

 

  • "At the corporate Christmas party in December 2000, while Defendant Corporaal was sitting across from Ms. Johnson, he continually requested that she take another sip of beer. He then asked her if she knew why he was asking her to do so and she said no. 'Take another sip then,' he replied. Then, as she raised her glass and opened her mouth facing him, [he] replied 'that's why.'"

  • "In April of 2001, Ms. Johnson was unable to leave work because a manager had parked his car behind her. When Defendant Corporaal heard her asking him to move it, he said, 'Yeah, you wouldn't want [the manager's] car getting yours pregnant.'"

  • "In May of 2001, Corporaal asked Ms. Johnson why she always wears long shirts. She asked why he was inquiring about such a thing and he replied, 'because I want to look at your butt.' When [she] informed the appropriate corporate official about this incident, he simply rolled his eyes."

  • "On June 11, 2001, Ms. Repp was working at her station bending over a file cabinet. Defendant Corporaal can [sic] into her station and rubbed his crotch against Ms. Repp's buttock as he passed her."

  • "It was part of Ms. Repp's job duties to pay Defendant Corporaal's Direct TV bills which itemize the various pornographic movies he had viewed each month, listing the name of the movie, the price and the date ordered."

  • "In June of 2000 Defendant Corporaal informed Ms. Repp that she had a better body than she had prior to becoming pregnant."

  • "In February 2000, when Ms. Repp informed Defendant Corporaal that she would not be able to appear in one of his sexually offensive commercials he stated, 'well, you are still the best looking woman here.'"

  • "In June of 2001, Defendant Corporaal brought his dog Kimmy into the office and while in the presence of Ms. Repp and several other women, he asked the dog, 'how would you like to bring a couple of these ladies home?'"

  • "All of the above acts occurred after the Defendants GSC and George Corporaal were served with no less than five sexual harassment claims between the years of 1997 and 1999. Some of the unchallenged allegations in said cases were as follows.....That during 'Ms. Doe's' employment at Defendant GSC, she was continually subjected to talk and rumors regarding the Corporaales' [sic] sexual exploits. Such rumors included, but were not limited to....George Corporaal having sexual affairs with under age girls in Jamaica, some of whom would call the office from time to time, George Corporaal having a relationship with a prostitute to whom he gave a job at GSC, and George Corporaal's participation in unusual sex acts, including but not limited to, having the above mentioned prostitute strap on a phallic shaped object to her body and using it to penetrate the anus."
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