Musician takes stand to describe very long grab by former DJ David Mueller, whom she countersued after he accused her team of costing him his job
Taylor Swift took the witness stand for the first time on Thursday in her lawsuit claiming a radio host groped her at a meet-and-greet in 2013, testifying: It was a definite grab. A very long grab.
The radio host, David Mueller, has sued the pop star, claiming she and her teams accusations against him caused him to lose his job and harmed his reputation. Swift then countersued with a sexual assault claim.
Both claims are being weighed at the trial. Mueller is seeking at least $3m in damages; Swift is asking for $1.
On the third day of testimony at the court in Denver, Colorado, Swift said her security guard, Greg Dent, witnessed Mueller lift her skirt at the 2013 event, but that no one could see him touch her backside beneath the skirt because their backs were to the wall.
He grabbed my ass underneath my skirt, she said. He stayed attached to my bare ass cheek as I lurched away from him.
She said she was stunned and tried to get as far away from Mueller as possible, but did not want to stop the event and disappoint the remaining people in line.
She said she also felt like she could not say what had happened without other people in the vicinity overhearing, and that the incident was something she did not want known.
When Muellers lawyer asked how she felt about him losing his job at a radio station following their encounter, Swift said: Im not going to allow you or your client make me feel in any way that this is my fault
Here we are years later, and Im being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are the product of his decisions not mine.
The musicians efforts to keep the incident private were described in testimony on Wednesday, when her mother tearfully explained that she did not call the police about the alleged groping because she did not want it to define her daughters life.
Andrea Swift said her daughter was really shaken after the encounter with Mueller. I did not want to make her relive this moment over and over again, the pop stars mother said.
Andrea Swift said she was worried that the photo, if released, would go viral and could be doctored in a lewd way.
She said her daughter had never asked for specific action against Mueller but the incident had led her to adjust how she interacts with the public. Swift now does fewer meet-and-greets with smaller groups of people, her mother said.
It absolutely shattered our trust, Swift, who is part of her daughters management team, said. It scared us, scared us very badly.
Frank Bell, a liaison for Taylor Swift who works for radio stations across the US, testified that he had asked for the photo to be kept private after he sent it to the general manager of Muellers employer, Denver radio station KYGO, as part of an investigation into the radio host.
Mueller brought the suit against Swift after her representatives told his bosses about Swifts claim.
Before Swifts representatives testified on Wednesday, Mueller told the court that the photo was weird and awkward but that he had not touched Swift on her rear and instead touched her on her ribs and skirt. My hand was at rib-cage level and apparently it went down, Mueller said.
Mueller said he had applied for jobs since his termination, but the allegations had cost me my career, my passion, my income.
Muellers lawyer, Gabriel McFarland, presented the image to jurors. It shows Mueller, his girlfriend and Swift standing together, smiling. Muellers hand is behind Swift but it is not clear where it is placed.
McFarland said the image shows his hand is not underneath Miss Swifts skirt, and her skirt is not rumpled in any fashion.
He also told the courtroom that inappropriate touching is wrong, but falsely accusing someone of the act is equally unacceptable.
Swift, 27, started her career as a country singer in the mid-2000s, before crossing over into pop and achieving superstar status with her albums Red (2012) and 1989 (2014) and becoming the worlds best-paid musician last year.
The trial is being held in a federal court in Denver because Swift and Mueller live in different states and the damages exceed $75,000. It is expected to last about two weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report