During a picture-taking session at a meet and greet in Denver last 2013, Taylor Swift had a photo with former disc jockey David Mueller. In the photo, Swift posed between Mueller and his girlfriend. According to the Grammy-winning artist, Mueller slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her buttocks. Such allegations were denied by Mueller. He claims that his hand was touching Swift’s skirt after putting his arm around her and their arms got crossed. He also insisted that his hand was at rib-cage level and apparently just went down.
Mueller’s Case Against Taylor Swift
In September 2015, Mueller sued the singer for losing his job as a radio host at KYGO following allegations that he groped Taylor’s posterior. He was seeking up to $3M in damages after getting fired by his employer. Mueller also filed additional claims of slander in 2016 but was later on rejected on the grounds that he waited too long to file such claims. His remaining claims on loss of wages, however, proceeded. In his recent statement, he said that Swift’s allegations had cost him his career, his passion, and income.
Taylor Swift’s Counter Suit
All of Mueller’s attempts to sue the 27-year old singer were countersued by Swift with sexual assault and battery allegations. Her request for jury trial was also granted which led to this week’s final verdict.
In the deposition, Swift was certain with her case. “It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life.”
Swift’s legal team also filed some paperwork claiming Mueller had lost critical evidence. According to their motion, Mueller “surreptitiously recorded the entire two hours of his June 3, 2013 meeting with KYGO personnel, which was conducted as part of KYGO’s independent investigation into Plaintiff’s groping of Ms. Swift during a pre-concert meet and greet” but “conveniently preserved a few short, handpicked excerpts.”
The said files were saved on multiple devices including two laptops, an iPad, cellphone, and hard drive were allegedly destroyed constituting bad faith and sanctionable spoliation.
During the trial held on August 14, Mueller maintained his innocence by repeatedly saying he only touched her ribs and may have accidentally brushed the outside of her skirt. Swift, on the other hand, handled the questioning well. Here are some excerpts from her testimony:
“I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is anyway my fault because it isn’t.”
“I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions. Not mine.”
Swift was also very calm when responding to Mueller’s lawyer Gabriel McFarland question on why her skirt did not appear ruffled at the front in the evidence photo. She said: “Because my ass is located at the back of my body.”
Taylor Swift’s Victory
After the testimonies were heard, Judge William J. Martinez and the jury comprising of six women and two men ruled in favor of Taylor Swift. She won a symbolic $1 claim in her countersuit against Mueller. After the reading of the verdict, the pop singer hugged her mother and mouthed ‘thank you’ to the jury.
In a statement, she also thanked the judge as well as her legal team for fighting for her and with her over the incident that happened four years ago.
“I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration, my attorneys Doug Baldridge, Danielle Foley, Jay Schaudies and Katie Wright for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year long trial process.”
Her lawyer also said that the ruling was not just a win but something that can make a difference.
Taylor Swift’s Pledge
There was a reason that Swift only filed for a $1 claim. Swift’s lawyer J. Douglas Baldridge said: “Ms. Swift is seeking $1 to show women you can say no.” In his opening statements, he also emphasized that Swift was taking a stand for all women by taking her case to trial. “If a person cannot stand up and serve as an example to other young women that have been sexually assaulted, then who can?”
After winning the case, Swift vows to help other sexual assault victims. In her statement she said: “I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this.”
“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”