Taylor Swift Testifies About the Details Surrounding Her Alleged Groping
"Grabbing a woman's rear end is an assault, and it's always wrong."
Four years ago, during a meet and greet in Denver, Taylor Swift says she was assaulted by former radio jockey David Mueller. At the time, Swift publicly stated that Mueller lifted her skirt and grabbed her behind, making her feel shocked and uncomfortable. The DJ lost his job, so he sued Swift seeking $3 million in damages. In response, Swift filed a counter suit for sexual assault and battery, asking for just $1-making it crystal clear that her motives aren't about money. In fact, legal documents show that if she were to be awarded any amount of unexpected money stemming from the case, that she would donate it to "charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard." (Related: Star-Studded PSA Aims to Stop Sexual Assault)
"She's not trying to bankrupt this man," Swift's attorney J. Douglas Baldridge said in his opening statement for the case on Tuesday, according to the live updates from ABC's Denver affiliate. "She's just trying to tell people out there that you can say no when someone puts their hand on you. Grabbing a woman's rear end is an assault, and it's always wrong. Any woman-rich, poor, famous, or not-is entitled to have that not happen." The trial is expected to last nine days with essentially everyone involved set to testify.
Despite all the allegations, Mueller continues to claim that he was falsely accused. Right after the alleged incident occurred, he was reportedly confronted by Swift's bodyguard and denied that anything happened. "I want to clear my name," he said when he took the stand on Wednesday. "It cost me my career. It cost me my income. It's been hard on my family. It's been hard on my friends."
However, during cross-examination Mueller did admit that there are recorded conversations between him and his bosses discussing the incident. Only 14 minutes of a more than two-hour conversation made it into court, as Mueller claims the original recordings have been either damaged or lost over time.
Swift's mother Andrea also testified Wednesday and discussed a photo that was taken when the incident is said to have occurred. It shows Swift standing next to Mueller, whose hand appears to be resting quite low behind the singer's back. In her testimony, she says that the photo makes her want to "vomit and cry at the same time."
Mueller's attorney, Gabriel McFarland has a different perspective on the same image, arguing that it's impossible to verify whether or not he actually lifted her dress.
Swift, who has been taking a break from the spotlight, obviously disagrees. "It was a definite grab, [a] very long grab," said on the stand on Thursday. "It was long enough for me to be completely sure it was intentional." (Related: Taylor Swift's Inspirational Message About Bullying) "None of us expected this to happen," she testified.
UPDATE: After just four hours of deliberation, the jury ruled in favor of Swift requiring Mueller to pay her $1 in damages. After hearing the verdict, Swift hugged her mother and thanked her legal team, as reported by CNN.
"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," she said in a statement, obtained by the news outlet. "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."
Mueller, however, continues holding his ground. "My heart is still set on proving my innocence," he told CNN.