Taylor Swift has won vindication after a jury decided in a civil trial that a radio host groped her during a pre-concert photo op four years ago.
After a week-long trial over dueling lawsuits, jurors determined Monday that fired Denver DJ David Mueller assaulted the pop star by grabbing her backside during a backstage meet-and-greet.
Mueller initially sued Swift, her mother Andrea Swift and their radio handler, Frank Bell, seeking up to $3m for his ruined career, and the singer-songwriter countersued, saying that he had groped her.
“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard,” the singer said in a statement, acknowledging her ability to “shoulder the enormous cost” of attorneys to defend her in court. “Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
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On Friday, the judge threw out Mueller’s case against Swift, determining that the pop star could not be held liable because Mueller had failed to prove that she personally set out to have him fired. On Monday, the six-woman, two-man jury also sided with Swift’s mother and their radio liaison, deciding that they were within their rights to contact Mueller’s bosses.
Mueller has said Swift’s claim that he groped her at a 2013 pre-concert event in Denver was false and led to his firing.
“I’ve been trying to clear my name for four years,” Mueller said after the verdict. “Civil court is the only option I had. This is the only way that I could be heard.”
In closing arguments in Denver federal court on Monday, lawyer Douglas Baldridge characterized the former DJ as an “aggressor”.
Baldridge asked jurors: “Will aggressors like David Mueller be allowed to victimize their victims?”
Citing Swift’s counterclaim alleging assault and battery, Baldridge asked jurors to “return a verdict for a single dollar, a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation”.
Testimony showed that Swift reported the incident to her mother and others on her team, but that she never sought any specific action regarding Mueller.
Source: The Guardian
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & CEO of Innovware startup project. He is passionate about tech, games and entertainment. He also enjoys writing about anime and many other topics.