Following her win of a landmark assault case against ex-radio DJ David Mueller, Taylor Swift says she hopes the verdict will inspire other victims of sexual assault to come forward.
A jury in Denver, Colorado, has found ex-radio DJ David Mueller guilty of sexually assaulting pop star Taylor Swift, after he grabbed her bottom beneath her skirt during a photo session in 2013.
In keeping with her request, Ms. Swift was awarded $1 (77p) in damages — an amount her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, said was “a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation.”
During the trial, it emerged that immediately after the incident, Ms. Swift made a report of it to her mother, Andrea Swift, and secured the photograph taken at the moment of the assault from her photographer. However, in an effort to avoid elongating the trauma of the event or making it public, Mrs. Swift decided not to report the incident to police and instead, requested that the singer’s management team alert Mueller’s bosses at his radio station. “We absolutely wanted to keep it private. But we didn’t want him to get away with it,” she testified.
The unfortunate events of his life are the product of his decisions — not mine.
The photo, shown to jurors but not publicly released, shows Mueller’s hand behind Ms. Swift, clearly placed below her waist. Ms. Swift testified that after she was groped, she numbly told Mueller and his girlfriend, “Thank you for coming,” and moved on to take photos with other people waiting in line, but immediately reported the incident as soon as she was able.
The incident only became public after Mueller sued Swift for up to $3 million, claiming her allegation cost him his $150,000-a-year job as morning host at country station KYGO-FM.
After Mueller sued, Swift countersued for assault and battery. During her hour-long testimony last week, she responded to attempts by Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, to blame her for his loss of reputation by stating, “The unfortunate events of his life are the product of his decisions — not mine.”
U.S. District Judge William Martinez dismissed claims that Ms. Swift had ruined Mueller’s career, ruling that Mueller’s legal team failed to present evidence that the then-23-year-old superstar did anything more than report the groping to her representatives. Jurors concurred and also rejected Mueller’s claims that Mrs. Swift and Frank Bell, a radio liasion, cost him his job.
Following the verdict, Ms. Swift 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 organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”