Taylor Swift groping trial: everything you need to know about the case
A civil court case involving Taylor Swift has just begun in Denver, Colorado. The disagreement is between the 27-year-old singer and a 55-year-old former DJ called David Mueller, whom Swift says groped her at a concert in 2013; he lost his job as a result of the allegation, which he still denies. Here’s what you need to know about the ongoing trial and the facts behind it.
What’s happening right now?
A jury is being selected for the trial.
Mueller is seeking $3m in damages after losing his $150,000 salary. Swift is seeking just $1 (77p), using the trial “an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”
Newsweek reports she is planning to donate “any financial reward from the trial to charities supporting survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence.”
There will be 32 seats open to the public within the courtroom. A further 75 seats will be provided in a viewing room at the Denver courthouse.
What is the disagreement about?
On June 2, 2013, when Swift was 23, she was carrying out a meet-and-greet with fans at her show in Denver, Colorado. Mueller, then 51, was a radio show host on Colorado station KYGO, and he posed with Swift for a photo alongside his then-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher. Swift says that as the three of them posed for a photo, Mueller reached under her dress and groped her “ass cheek”. She told her security team, who removed Mueller from the gig. She also told her mother and her management, who passed the photo on to the radio station employing Mueller. They did not inform the police.
Mueller was fired two days later, on June 4, 2013. The photo has since been leaked to TMZ.
What happened next?
Mueller sued Swift in September 2015, claiming the accusations were false, and that they had wrongfully resulted in him losing his job. He claimed that a colleague, Eddie Haskell, was the one who had touched Swift’s bottom.
Swift countersued Mueller in October 2015 for assault and battery. Her countersuit read: “Mueller’s newfound claim that he is the ‘wrong guy’ and, therefore, his termination from KYGO was unjustified, is specious. Ms Swift knows exactly who committed the assault, it was Mueller – and she is not confused in the slightest about whether her long-term business acquaintance, Mr. Haskell, was the culprit.”
In August 2016 Mueller tried to have Swift’s counter-suit thrown out of court. He failed, and in October 2016 Swift provided a pre-trial deposition, saying: “Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek and no matter how much I scooted over it was still there. It was completely intentional, I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.”
Who is going to testify in the trial?
- Both Swift and Mueller are expected to testify personally.
- Andrea Swift, Taylor’s mother, will testify about the decision to contact Mueller’s workplace, KYGO, and not the police. She is also a defendant in Mueller’s case.
- Frank Bell, Swift’s manager, will testify about contacting KYGO and what he said to them. He is also a defendant in Mueller’s case.
- Shannon Melcher, Mueller’s girlfriend at the time, will testify about the photo and about Mueller’s character.
- Greg Dent, Taylor Swift’s bodyguard will testify about the meeting of Mueller and Swift.
What else do we know about the trial?
As the Denver Post reports, Swift’s legal team has provided “17 articles, university studies and academic papers focused on sexual harassment and violence” to the court, including one about allegations made against the President of the United States.
We will continue to update this page as new information is revealed.