Taylor Swift To Testify In Court After DJ Groping Allegations
Taylor Swift will be back in court Monday to testify against Denver radio host David Mueller. The lawsuit stems from a 2013 incident in which Swift, 27, alleges Mueller groped her during a photo session before her concert at the Pepsi Center.
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After the alleged incident, Swift and her support team didn’t call the police, but instead called Mueller’s boss costing him his job. The disc jockey later sued the singer-songwriter, saying he had been falsely accused and wanted $3 million in damages.
Swift countersued, claiming sexual assault and the two will appear in federal court in Denver on Monday, where an eight-member jury will decide the verdict.
Swift is scheduled to testify at the hearing and both sides say no settlement is in the works.
Swift’s attorney Douglas Baldridge argued in court that Swift tried to keep the situation “discreet and quiet and confidential” and was upset by Mueller’s claim that “for some reason she might have some incentive to actually fabricate this story.”
Swift’s lawsuit states that the singer-songwriter is seeking a verdict that awards her $1, while holding Mueller responsible and “serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts”.
Tre Lovell, a California-based attorney who represents production and entertainment management companies, told reporters that celebrities often want to address such situations outside of court:
Once celebrities decide to take legal action, it’s going to hit the press, they’re going to be called as a witness and they have to spend time with that. They don’t necessarily want that. They want to focus on their career, their brands, their sponsorships. They have a whole revenue stream that’s at stake.
Mueller, 51 at the time of the incident, was a morning host at a Denver country-music station and was assigned to attend Swift’s June 2, 2013, concert.
Swift, then 23, was touring in support of her Red album, with hits such as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.
Mueller and his girlfriend were backstage with other fans for a meet-and-greet with Swift and entered a curtained enclosure where they spoke briefly with the singer-songwriter.
At the meet-and-greet, Mueller took a photo with the singer and reports that Swift was cordial as he and his girlfriend left. He then alleges that he went to his car to drop off the autographed photo and returned to the arena, where he was confronted by Swift’s security guard.
In court documents, Swift said, “He took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek, and no matter how much I scooted over, it was still there.”
She said she remained professional and met and greeted other fans, then reported the incident to the guard and a photographer.
Mueller denied inappropriately touching Swift and said he told the guard: “Please call the police. I didn’t do anything.”
Under local law, such an act would merit a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual conduct, which carries a maximum possible sentence of two years in jail. No criminal charges are pending.
After escorting Mueller out of the arena, a member of Swift’s team called Mueller’s employer and asked that the appropriate actions be taken.
Court documents reveal that the radio station interviewed Mueller and fired him, citing a morality clause in his contract that allows his employer to fire him for conduct that could reflect unfavorably on the station or its sponsors.
The documents also say a representative of the station said Mueller’s account of the incident is inconsistent. He had changed his story from not having touched Swift to possibly touching her accidentally.
Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, argues that Mueller may have been misidentified after someone else touched Swift. He also says the security guard did not react to anything during the backstage meeting and that as many as 20 other people took photographs with Swift after Mueller left.
The trial is being held in U.S. District Court because the Mueller and Swift live in separate states and the matter involves a claim for damages higher than $75,000.