Taylor Swift has won the “groping” trial: The six-woman/two-man jury found that the actions of the DJ whom she accused of groping her during a 2013 photo opportunity in Denver amounted to assault and battery. The jury also found that Swift’s mother Andrea and a member of the singer’s management team, Frank Bell, did not cause Mueller to be unfairly fired, which was the upshot of the DJ’s case against Swift.
The jury ordered Mueller to pay Swift a symbolic $1 in damages, per her lawsuit.
According to social media reports from the courtroom, Swift heaved a sigh of relief when the verdict was read and hugged her mother and legal team; her mother wept. Mueller did not look at his attorneys.
In a statement released minutes after the trial, Swift said: “I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration, my attorneys Doug Baldridge, Danielle Foley, Jay Schaudies and Katie Wright for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year long trial process.
“I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
Mueller initiated the litigation in 2015 with a suit that denied Swift’s allegation that he had groped her, and claimed that it led radio station KYGO to fire him. Swift responded with a counter-suit that included the assault and battery allegation; the cases were heard together in the trial, which opened on August. 7. On Friday, Mueller’s case against Taylor Swift was dismissed by the judge, although the case against her mother and Frank Bell, a member of her management team, continued.
Swift began weeping during the closing argument from Mueller’s attorney. “I don’t know what kind of man grabs or gropes a music superstar … But it’s not that guy,” the lawyer, Gabriel McFarland, said. “Nobody saw what Ms. Swift said happened … because it didn’t happen.”
He said the photo of the encounter — which Swift used to prove her argument — showed that Swift was smiling at the time and could not have been as upset as she claimed to be. “Look at Ms. Swift’s face and ask yourself: Is that the face of a person who just had a strange man grab her butt?,” he said to the jury.
Swift began crying at that point. She was comforted by her mother, Andrea, and Douglas Baldridge, her attorney.
Baldridge’s argument followed, calling Mueller’s lawsuit “audacious and ridiculous” and pointed out that no evidence has been presented disproving Swift’s story either.
“Ms. Swift’s story never changed. Ever. For four years,” he said to the jury. “Will aggressors like David Mueller be allowed to victimize their victims?” he said. He also challenged Mueller’s testimony that someone else, including one of his bosses, could have been the one who groped Swift, saying it was a “complete, made-up story to stick it to his boss two years after the fact.”