SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - A new twist Tuesday in the legal battle between high-profile attorneys Geoffrey Fieger and Mike Morse.
Fieger has released new audio recordings that he says prove Morse sexually assaulted his client. Fieger's press conference started combatively, kicking a reporter out for not sharing a statement given by Morse's attorney Debra Gordon.
Fieger shared an audiotape just released by the Farmington Hills Police Department. The alleged victim filed this criminal complaint in April. Police said she would need more proof. Police wired this woman before her meeting and then reporters started to hear the conversation.
She was very nervous. A friend walked her in. There was a fear of possible entrapment beforehand and then they sat down and spoke.
On the recording she says:
"I didn't exclude you, I said let's take a picture. My phone wouldn't focus. We went in the back and I was holding the picture up and you were like behind me and you grabbed my boob and you go 'Is that better?' I was stunned. I felt like, it made me feel bad."
(Voice alleged to be Morse): "I don't even know how to say sorry. I really am."
"I didn't want to do what I did, but I felt distraught about it and it bothered me. Nobody knows what people are going through in their life at that time.
"It just made me feel like -- I've never had anyone do that to me before."
(Voice alleged to be Morse): "I'm mortified. I wish I could take that away from you. ... Nothing like that would ever happen again."
Fieger said that, "You can hear now, he's a pathological liar and the attorney who represents him is a pathological liar. He's done this repeatedly. He's done this to numerous women. At least five."
On the tape Mike Morse says he doesn't deny anything and he's mortified. In a statement by his attorney today, it says in the strongest terms that Mike Morse denies any wrongdoing involving Renee Swain. Gordon goes on to say that he only met with Swain because all she said she wanted was an apology and he was hoping to diffuse the bizarre situation that she had created, she was clearly trying to entrap Mike Morse and she got was kind words and a general apology for a "nonevent."
Morse denies all of this. The prosecutor who took this case on dismissed the case but then recommended that it should be pursued civilly.
Fieger called the decision ridiculous and said he is taking the case to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for possible criminal charges.
Gordon released this statement on behalf of Morse:
In the strongest terms, Michael Morse denies any wrongdoing involving Renee Swain. Mike was shocked when Ms. Swain filed a police report based on an alleged momentary touch made in a busy, public restaurant, where his girlfriend and other friends were present.
This so-called audio apology is not newly discovered and has been found lacking as grounds for any criminal complaint. Mike is a public figure and thus can be a target for those who wish him ill will. Nonetheless, he has embraced his status as a public figure and has been very generous in giving back to the community. When he was told by a friend of Ms. Swain that all Ms. Swain wanted was a meeting and an apology, he agreed, hoping to diffuse the bizarre situation she had created.
Ms. Swain clearly tried to entrap Mike but all she got were kind words and a general apology for a non-event. At the conclusion of the meeting Ms. Swain, in the presence of witnesses, gave Mike a large hug. In no way was this meeting an admission of misconduct. It was Mike's attempt to deal with a clearly confused and possibly unbalanced person. Ms. Swain has no credibility; witness statements and other evidence make that clear. Mr. Fieger does not have any credibility, either.
Mr. Fieger thrives on circus-like press conferences but they do not change the facts or the law. This press conference is just another of a series of desperate attempts by Mr. Fieger to harm Mike and gain publicity for himself.
The statements were reviewed in a larger context and found lacking by serious prosecutors; the civil case will end in a similar way.