FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – A $10 million lawsuit alleges Oakland County attorney Mike Morse molested a woman in a back room at a Farmington Hills restaurant.
The civil suit, filed by attorney Geoffrey Fieger against Morse and the owner of Steven Lelli’s On The Green, details the alleged sexual assault that took place in April.
“She was just there having dinner…she did not know Mr. Morse at all,” Fieger said, at a news conference Monday. “He promoted himself as a famous person who she would like to have a picture with. And that was the guise under which he brought her to a room or an area of the restaurant when he encouraged her to take a selfie; and at that point, as the complaint alleges, began the sexual molestation.”
Specifically, the suit alleges, Morse grabbed the woman’s breasts and asked her if that made the photo better.
Fieger said his client, a Novi resident, has filed a complaint with the Farmington Hills Police Department. At request of the police, the suit claims, she wore a wire and recorded Morse allegedly admitting to the assault.
Fieger said Farmington Hills police have that recording. He noted that no criminal charges have been filed against Morse.
“The only other information that I have is that the Farmington Hills Police Department has told the victim they’re completing their investigation and will present it shortly,” Fieger said, adding that police are aware of the civil suit.
Fieger said Steven Lelli’s On The Green owner Mark Zarkin helped try to cover it up.
“The owner of Lelli’s (On The Green) since that time has facilitated, coerced according to the complaint, and attempted to convince the victim to not only meet with himself and Mr. Morse in an attempt, as the complain alleges, to not go to the police and not to bring a complaint against Mr. Morse,” Fieger said.
Fieger said the picture of the victim and Morse exists, although there is no photo of the alleged sexual contact.
Asked whether alcohol may have been a factor, Fieger said he does not know if Morse was drinking at the time of the alleged incident. His client, Fieger said, does not drink.
In a statement to reporters Monday afternoon, Morse categorically denied the allegations, contending that Fieger, a competitor, is out to get him.
“I called you all here to respond to the shocking, outrageous and completely false allegations leveled against me today by Fieger Law Firm and a woman who approached me to take a photo at a crowded local restaurant.
People approach me take selfies on a regular basis and I thought nothing of it when this woman asked.
But there’s something else important I want to address. This lawsuit is a bogus, manufactured lawsuit and an attempt to extort money from me by the Fieger Law Firm.
Mr. Fieger has told people recently that he is angry with me because a former client of his fired him and hired me and I settled the case for a substantial amount of money in the past few months. There’s a history of Mr. Fieger attempting to disparage me in commercials and his blog posts.
This is also a pathetic attempt to harm my reputation, something the Fieger Law Firm stands to benefit from.
I am standing here to tell you there is no truth to these allegations. There are multiple witnesses who were present at the time who observed that I did not touch this woman as alleged.
This lawsuit is complete and utter nonsense and I will vigorously defend myself against these false claims.
Farmington Hills police are not commenting.