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Woman suing gynecologist who treated her and withheld secret that he is her biological father

A New York woman says she ‘screamed and sobbed’ when she learned that the gynecologist she had been seeing for nearly a decade was actually her biological father, having secretly used his own sperm to artificially inseminate her mother in 1985.

Morgan Hellquist, 36, had been a patient of Dr. Morris Wortman in upstate New York for nine years, getting breast and pelvis exams by his hands, all the while clueless that she was his biological daughter.

In January 1985, her mother, Jo Ann Levy, had also gone to Dr. Wortman for help getting pregnant, and was told that she was being inseminated with the sperm of an anonymous medical student.

But when Hellquist got an Ancestry DNA test in 2016, she found multiple half-siblings on the platform — and in 2021, they discovered the awful truth: that Dr. Wortman had surreptitiously fathered them all.

Worse, says Hellquist, he knew he was her father while he was treating her as her gynecologist.

‘He knew the whole time who he was and I didn’t. He took away that choice for me,’ Hellquist, who is now suing Wortman, said through tears on Good Morning America this morning. 

Morgan Hellquist, 36, has described the moment she discovered her gynecologist of nine years was actually her biological father, having secretly inseminated her mom with his sperm

Dr. Morris Wortman gave Hellquist, from New York, breast and pelvic exams, and fitted her for an IUD; she has now slammed him for treating him while knowing he was her father

Dr. Morris Wortman gave Hellquist, from New York, breast and pelvic exams, and fitted her for an IUD; she has now slammed him for treating him while knowing he was her father

Hellquist's mother, Jo An Levy, had also seen Wortman (pictured) in the '80s for artificial insemination, and was told the sperm belonged to a medical student

Hellquist’s mother, Jo An Levy, had also seen Wortman (pictured) in the ’80s for artificial insemination, and was told the sperm belonged to a medical student

Levy’s husband Gary, who raised Hellquist, was rendered paraplegic when he was 20 after being hit by a drunk driver while on his motorcycle. 

The couple, who were high school sweethearts, went to Wortman asking for his help to start a family and paid $50, three times a month, for what they thought was stranger’s sperm. They conceived Morgan in 1985. 

In 2012, when she was 26, Hellquist began seeing Wortman herself. Over the next nine years, he performed pelvic and breast exams on her and fitted her for an IUD — all, she says, knowing that he was her biological father but keeping the secret from her. 

In 2016, Hellquist took an Ancestry DNA test and found David Berry, 37, a half-sibling on the site.  

Berry had been shocked to learn that the father who raised him was not, in fact, his biological father.

Hellquist and Berry continued to find more half-siblings, watching as the number of relations grew.

‘Then there was five of us. And we were all the same age,’ Hellquist said. ‘And six, and then seven. And it started to feel like, well if there’s seven there might be 20. And if there’s 20, there might be 100. And I started to feel terrified.’

After Hellquist (left) took an Ancestry DNA test in 2016, she found multiple half siblings whose parents all used the same doctor, including David Berry, 37 (right)

After Hellquist (left) took an Ancestry DNA test in 2016, she found multiple half siblings whose parents all used the same doctor, including David Berry, 37 (right)

David Berry, 37, had been shocked to learn that the father who raised him was not, in fact, his biological father

David Berry, 37, had been shocked to learn that the father who raised him was not, in fact, his biological father

Berry (pictured as a child) had been shocked to learn that the father who raised him was not, in fact, his biological father

Hellquist (left) and Berry (right) noticed a resemblance immediately. In 2021, they confirmed that Wortman had fathered them after getting the daughter he raised to take a DNA test

Hellquist (left) and Berry (right) noticed a resemblance immediately. In 2021, they confirmed that Wortman had fathered them after getting the daughter he raised to take a DNA test

Woman suing gynecologist who treated her and withheld secret that he is her biological father

 ‘I am the product of something that should have never happened with an unconscionable violation of ethics, at a minimum,’ Berry said

Eventually, Hellquist and Berry realized that they had both been conceived via artificial insemination performed by the same doctor, Wortman — and got Wortman’s daughter, whom he raised, to take a DNA test.

That test confirmed that he had fathered them all. 

‘When we found out, there wasn’t any need to tell [my mother]. I was screaming and sobbing at the top of my lungs,’ Hellquist said.

Unfortunately, what Wortman did isn’t categorized as sexual assault under the law. Only seven states — California, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, and Florida — have fertility fraud laws on the books, so because the inseminations happened in New York, most of the people involved have no legal recourse.

But Hellquist filed a lawsuit against Wortman in September for his continued treatment of her despite knowing he was her father, alleging medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, battery, fraud, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress. She is seeing unspecified damages.

‘I do not have a fertility fraud case,’ she told GMA. ‘I have a case because he touched me without my consent.’

Her half-siblings are also reeling from the discovery, with David Berry’s mother Karen Berry insisting she never gave Wortman permission to use his own sperm.

Hellquist is suing Wortman for medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, battery, fraud, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress

Hellquist is suing Wortman for medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, battery, fraud, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress

Wortman has not commented on any of the allegations, but in legal filings, he claims Hellquist is lying and that he did not use his own sperm while treating her mother

Wortman has not commented on any of the allegations, but in legal filings, he claims Hellquist is lying and that he did not use his own sperm while treating her mother

‘He had my permission to use a donor,’ she said. ‘Specifically, a medical student. He did not have my permission to use his own sperm for a donation.’ 

David Berry spoke of having complicated feelings about his own existence.

‘I am the product of something that should have never happened with an unconscionable violation of ethics, at a minimum,’ he said.

‘He’s something I can’t escape, because his DNA’s in me. His DNA’s in my son. I wrestle with that. The first time I held my son, that man was in the room with me.’

However, Hellquist said the one silver lining has been discovering her half-siblings. 

‘David and my siblings are… it’s not even bittersweet. It’s that they’re the shining glue that holds me together during all of this,’ she said. 

Previously, Hellquist told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that she nearly crashed her car when she learned that Wortman was her biological father, and how her own mother now blames it all on herself. 

‘My mom feels so violated. She said, “I feel like he raped me.” She feels like all of it is her fault,’ she said.  

In her lawsuit, she said that her family revered Wortman as a miracle worker after he helped her mother conceive. She was told when she eight that she was conceived with the help of a sperm donor because of her father’s earlier accident.

Woman suing gynecologist who treated her and withheld secret that he is her biological father

‘He knew the whole time who he was and I didn’t. He took away that choice for me,’ Hellquist (pictured in February) said

Woman suing gynecologist who treated her and withheld secret that he is her biological father

‘My mom feels so violated. She said, “I feel like he raped me.” She feels like all of it is her fault,’ Hellquist said (her mother and father pictured) 

Carl Lore (pictured) also claims that Wortman used his own sperm instead of a donor's to father him

Carl Lore (pictured) also claims that Wortman used his own sperm instead of a donor’s to father him 

‘He was all over the news when I was in my late teens. My mom would stop cooking dinner and say, “There he is,”‘ she said.

In 2012, after having two kids of her own, Hellquist sought treatment from Wortman because she was unhappy with her own gynecologist. 

She started visiting him for ultrasounds examinations, breast exams, and pelvis exams, and was happy with the work until she became suspicious that he may have been involved in her conception. 

When she took a DNA test, she learned that she was 50% Ashkenazi Jewish. Over the following years, she connected with several half siblings, including Carl Lore.

She eventually noticed that she and her half-siblings bore a resemblance to Wortman. 

At first, Hellquist  played it down, convinced it was an impossibility that Wortman may be her father. 

In her suit, Hellquist said that Wortman even had his wife (pictured with her husband) come in an exam room once to see her

In her suit, Hellquist said that Wortman even had his wife (pictured with her husband) come in an exam room once to see her 

She continued to see him for medical treatment and allowed him to fit her with an IUD, among other procedures. 

In her lawsuit, she claims he once told her she was a ‘Jewish American Princess’ after she complained of unusual mood swings. 

She says he also once showed her an antique ‘theragun’ and asked what she thought it was used for, then suggested women used them to masturbate.  

In her lawsuit, she claims he also told her she was a ‘good kid,’ and even had his own wife come in to the room to ‘get a look’ at her because they both knew he had fathered her in secret. 

Her lawyer Kathryn Bruns said: ‘A physician owes a duty to his patient. In this instance, he had a duty to not treat her. He violated his ethical obligation as a physician.’ 

Wortman has not commented on any of the allegations, but in legal filings, he claims Hellquiest is lying and that he did not use his own sperm while treating her mother. He is seeking a dismissal.           

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk