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DJ did grope Taylor Swift, jury rules 

By | Published on Tuesday 15 August 2017

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift yesterday won her legal battle with former DJ David Mueller. The jury deliberated for about four hours before deciding that the one time radio host had groped the pop star during a meet and greet in Detroit in 2013, while her management team were not liable for “tortious interference” in his contract with his then employer.

As previously reported, it was Mueller who first went legal over the groping incident, denying that he had inappropriately touched Swift, and claiming that her allegations to that effect had lost him his radio job. She then countersued for assault.

After a week of testimonies, many of Mueller’s claims against Swift and her management team – which includes her mother – were dismissed by the judge on Friday. Meaning that the jury had just two issues to consider yesterday: the remaining claim of “tortious interference” against Swift’s team, and her counter-allegation of assault. The jury found in favour of Swift on both points.

While Mueller was at one point seeking $3 million from the case, Swift’s countersuit was very much about the principle of matter, seeking a mere dollar in damages. But that dollar, her lawyer said during summing up, was a “symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation”. By finding in favour of Swift and awarding her that single dollar, he told the jury, “you will tell every woman… that no means no”.

Earlier in the day, according to the Associated Press, Mueller’s legal rep – during his summing up – had asked why his client, having recently landed his dream job in radio, while having his photo taken alongside his then girlfriend, would use that moment to grope a pop star on camera. Or, in the words of attorney Gabriel McFarland: “I don’t know what kind of person grabs or gropes a powerful music star, but it’s not that guy. It’s not the guy standing next to a woman he loves. It’s not the guy who just landed his dream job with his best friend in the mountains of Denver”.

But Swift’s legal rep insisted: “The guy did it. Don’t be fooled. Don’t be snookered”. He also compared the photo at the heart of the case – the one featuring Mueller and Swift – with another picture of the singer and a different adult couple taken during the same meet and greet. Noting that in the latter photo the man had his arm on Swift’s shoulder, rather than positioned lower down her body as Mueller’s arm was in his picture with the music star, the lawyer declared of the other photo: “[His arm] goes where my arm goes when I give a hug to my daughters’ good friends. I don’t go anywhere near their rear ends”.

Although Swift earns no real damages from the case, she pledged to donate her own money to organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves, hoping that her win in this case will encourage other women to do so.

The musician said in a statement: “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”.

She went on: “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”.



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