Taylor Swift has zero doubts about how, exactly, then-radio host David Mueller touched her during a meet-and-greet in 2013. Mueller’s contact was a “definite grab,” she testified on Thursday, the fourth day of her sexual assault trial and the first time she took the stand. “He grabbed my ass underneath my skirt. It was underneath my skirt.”
Swift alleges that Mueller groped her while they were being photographed together during a photo session before she played Denver’s Pepsi Center during her Red Tour in 2013. Mueller denies all charges and, in September 2015, sued Swift, claiming that her accusations resulted in his firing. One month later, Swift countersued for assault and battery, claiming that Mueller “intentionally reached under her skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will, and without her permission.”
Mueller responded four months later by adding slander to his existing lawsuit. Swift’s allegations, he insisted, were false; it was his boss at the time, Eddie Haskell, who not only groped Swift but then bragged about the encounter. Mueller’s contract with KYGO, according to his amended complaint, was terminated two days after the meet-and-greet with Swift, only a few months into a two-year contract with the station.
As the alleged incident occurred during a photo shoot, Swift’s legal team has a photograph of the moment in question, one they successfully kept from being released to the public. What they could not keep private, though, was Swift’s deposition for this case, which was conducted last July and made public in the fall. In it, Swift described the alleged groping several times (emphasis added):
“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.”
Though she initially announced her intention to donate any financial reward from the lawsuit to charities “dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard,” Swift is only suing Mueller for “a symbolic $1, saying she wants to serve as an example to other women who have been assaulted,” the AP reports. Mueller is seeking at least $3 million.
According to Buzzfeed, Swift was firm on the stand in her certainty that the assailant was Mueller. “He had a handful of my ass. I know it was him.” Mueller testified that he touched other parts of Swift’s body, including her hand, in a non-sexual manner. Swift contradicted his statements: “He did not touch my rib, he did not touch my hand. He grabbed my bare ass.” She testified for just under an hour.
Asked if she should look at other photos “I know exactly who did this, this is what happened. It happened to me. I know it was him.” https://t.co/1AOqd5Pzc5
— Claudia Rosenbaum (@CJRosenbaum) August 10, 2017
Swift’s mother, Andrea, is a co-defendant in Mueller’s lawsuit. She testified on Wednesday, describing for the jury how, when her daughter told her about the incident, “She was really shaken. She was humiliated.”
As the AP reported, Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, asked why no one from Swift’s team contacted the police. Swift’s mother said, “I did not want this event to define her life. We absolutely wanted to keep it private, but we didn’t want him to get away with it.” After her experience with Mueller, Swift scaled back her meet-and-greets, her mother said, making them smaller and “more limited.”
“It absolutely shattered our trust,” Andrea Swift said. “It scared us, scared us very badly.”