A judge has dismissed a sexual assault lawsuit against well-known metro Detroit attorney Mike Morse, based on perjury by the plaintiff in the case.
On Wednesday, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Phyllis McMillen dismissed the suit, filed by Geoffrey Fieger on behalf of Renee Swain, saying Swain "just wanted to hide the truth, which was detrimental to her case and potentially embarrassing."
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The lawsuit alleged Morse touched Swain's breast at a restaurant after she asked for a selfie with the attorney. Swain was seeking $10 million for the alleged incident.
In 2017, Fieger announced the lawsuit, but Morse's attorney, Deborah Gordon, said the case was brought only to bring attention to Fieger and harass Morse, who Fieger viewed as a competitor.
According to the ruling, Swain was asked if she had been receiving payments in the amount of $10,000 and then $5,000 from a "new friend" of a man, "Ken," and if those payments had stopped the month she sued Morse.
According to the court, during a deposition on Jan. 5, 2018, Swain said that the last deposit happened in the "end of 2016," but bank records revealed those payments stopped in May 2017, and another happened just weeks before her deposition in November 2017.
"Here, Plaintiff (Swain) made false statements in her deposition, which is ar more egregious than simply delaying discovery or failing to answer interrogatories," McMillen wrote in her ruling. "There is no indication that her answers were mere mistakes or that she misunderstood the questions."
According to the judge, the false statements were material to the case.
"Even giving Plaintiff (Swain) the benefit of the doubt, she was informed months ago (as early as February 2018 when Defendant filed the motion to dismiss) that the statements she gave were 'incorrect.' Thus, she had a duty to amend or supplement her responses, and her failure to do so violated the court rules," McMillen added.
According to Gordon, four of the five cases that Fieger has filed against Morse have been dismissed by the court on legal grounds.
We have reached out to Fieger for comment.