Jury to hear closing arguments in Taylor Swift lawsuit
A jury will hear closing arguments today in a lawsuit brought by a former radio DJ in Colorado who says Taylor Swift’s allegation that he groped her led to his firing. They’ll also hear final arguments in Swift’s countersuit against ex-DJ David Mueller.
The singer was dismissed as a defendant in Mueller’s suit on Friday when a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to show that Swift had acted improperly.
The federal suit brought by Mueller continues with just the singer’s mother, Andrea Swift, and radio promotions director, Frank Bell, as defendants.
Swift alleges Mueller groped her at a meet-and-greet in June 2013. Mueller denies grabbing Swift and claims he was wrongfully terminated after Swift and her mother pressured the radio station to fire him following the alleged incident. Swift filed a countersuit in response.
Mueller’s suit doesn’t seek a specific monetary amount, but an expert retained by the ex-radio host determined that nearly $3 million was a fair compensation for damages. Swift is seeking $1 in her countersuit.
Testimony wraps up
Mueller’s legal team rested its case on Friday after four days of testimony, including from the singer herself.
Also Friday, Swift’s bodyguard testified that he witnessed Mueller reach his hand under Swift’s skirt at the Denver photo-op in what he called a “violation” of her body.
“I know she wasn’t comfortable with it, that’s why she moved, pushed (her) skirt down and moved closer to the woman,” Greg Dent said.
Dent’s eyewitness testimony bolsters Swift’s allegation that Mueller, a former DJ for Denver radio station KYGO, inappropriately grabbed her buttocks at Denver’s Pepsi Center. KYGO is a CNN affiliate.
The photographer at the meet-and-greet, Stephanie Simbeck, testified Thursday that she also witnessed the alleged groping.
Friday’s court proceedings also featured testimony from Mueller’s then-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, as well as Mueller’s former radio co-host, Ryan Kliesch. Both said they hadn’t seen Mueller act disrespectfully toward or inappropriately touch women.
The singer told her mother, Andrea, and her management team about the incident and identified Mueller as the culprit from a photo, she testified. Her radio promotions director, Frank Bell, told Mueller’s bosses at KYGO, who fired Mueller two days later after conducting their own investigation.
In 2015, Mueller sued Swift, her mother, and Bell in civil court, claiming that he did not touch her inappropriately and that he lost his job because of a false accusation.
In response, Swift countersued Mueller for alleged assault and battery. Her lawsuit argued that the trial would “serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”
Swift delivered pointed testimony on Thursday, including that she had no reaction to learning that Mueller had lost his job.
“I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel in any way that this is my fault, because it isn’t,” she said.
“I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions, and not mine,” Swift added later.
Much of the trial’s testimony has focused on the photo of Swift, Mueller, and Melcher from the meet-and-greet. The image, which has not been officially released but was leaked last year, shows a smiling Mueller with his hand hidden from view behind Swift’s lower rear.
Both sides have attempted to use the photo to support their case, but Swift firmly rejected the plaintiff’s claim that the photo showed nothing inappropriate.
“This is a photo of him with his hand up my skirt — with his hand on my ass,” she said. “You can ask me a million questions — I’m never going to say anything different. I never have said anything different.”
The jury of six women and two men will decide the civil trial. After closing arguments, they’ll deliberate on the remaining claims – tortious interference with contract against Andrea Swift and Frank Bell, as well as Swift’s counterclaim of assault and batter against Mueller. The jury’s decision must be unanimous.