FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2017 file photo, Taylor Swift performs at the DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert in Houston, Texas. A jury on Monday, Aug. 14 sided with Swift over allegations that a former radio host groped her during a meet-and-greet before a concert and whether the singer’s mother and her radio liaison later set out to destroy his career. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

Swift justice: Jury takes Taylor’s side in groping lawsuit

  • Aug. 14, 2017 4:42 p.m.

DENVER — Taylor Swift won $1 and long-awaited vindication after a jury decided that a radio host groped her during a pre-concert photo op four years ago.

After a weeklong trial over dueling lawsuits, jurors determined that fired Denver DJ David Mueller assaulted the pop star by grabbing her backside during a backstage meet-and-greet. The six-woman, two-man jury also found that Swift’s mother and radio liaison were within their rights to contact Mueller’s bosses.

Mueller sued the Swifts and their radio handler, Frank Bell, seeking up to $3 million for his ruined career.

Just before closing arguments, the judge dismissed Taylor Swift from Mueller’s lawsuit, saying he had failed to prove that she sought to get Mueller fired or had any reason to believe that someone else may have assaulted her. U.S. District Judge William Martinez also drastically reduced the amount Mueller could collect.

The singer-songwriter said in her countersuit that she wanted a symbolic $1 and the chance to stand up for other women.

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.

From the start, Swift’s side portrayed the encounter as a clear case of sexual assault, even though they never reported it to police. Her mother tearfully testified that she asked Bell to reach out to Mueller’s employers at country station KYGO-FM instead because they wanted to handle the matter quietly and avoid exposing the singer-songwriter to publicity.

Bell contacted a station vice-president and asked for an investigation of Mueller’s conduct. He also sent the station executive a photo taken of Swift, Mueller and Mueller’s then-girlfriend at the meet-and-greet.

In a fiery hourlong stint on the witness stand last week, Swift blasted a low-key characterization by Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, of what happened. While Mueller testified he never grabbed Swift, she insisted she was groped.

“He stayed attached to my bare ass-cheek as I lurched away from him,” Swift testified.

“It was a definite grab. A very long grab,” she added.

Mueller emphatically denied reaching under the pop star’s skirt or otherwise touching her inappropriately, insisting he touched only her ribs and may have brushed the outside of her skirt as they awkwardly posed for the picture.

That photo was virtually the evidence besides the testimony. In the image shown to jurors during opening statements but not publicly released, Mueller’s hand is behind Swift, just below her waist. Both are smiling. Mueller’s then-girlfriend is standing on the other side of Swift.

Swift testified that after she was groped, she numbly told Mueller and his girlfriend, “Thank you for coming,” and moved on to photos with others waiting in line because she did not want to disappoint them.

But she said she immediately went to her photographer after the meet-and-greet ended and found the photo of her with Mueller, telling the photographer what happened.

Andrea Swift testified that she asked Bell to call Mueller’s employers. They did not call the police to avoid further traumatizing her daughter, she said.

“We absolutely wanted to keep it private, but we didn’t want him to get away with it,” Andrea Swift testified.

Bell said he emailed the photo to Robert Call, KYGO’s general manager, for use in Call’s investigation of Mueller. He said he didn’t ask that Mueller be fired but that “appropriate action be taken.”

Just Posted

Clinton says Dem’s surprise win in Alabama a ‘turning point’ against Trump

VANCOUVER — Hillary Clinton says the Democratic party’s surprise win in Alabama… Continue reading

Playing long game, new NDP leader Singh says of poor byelection showing

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh isn’t reading too much into his… Continue reading

Unidentified buyer found for Toronto house where future princess lived

TORONTO — A buyer has been found for the Toronto house where… Continue reading

Women raising alarm about BBQ brushes

Beverly Smith’s ended up in an operating room after wire bristle pierced her bowel

Ban barbecue brushes: doctor

Brushes pose a health risk because wire bristles can get ingested

WATCH: Red Deer Royals nearing 50 years

The Red Deer Royals are a second family to Elise Bluett. The… Continue reading

Expect cooler temperatures and ‘dusting of snow’ this Christmas

Red Deer recorded a high temperature on Tuesday

Bed shortage means no mental reviews done yet on accused Edmonton attacker

A man accused of attempted murder after a police officer was hit… Continue reading

Update: Police release photo of suspected vehicle involved in fatal

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle near Ponoka

Notley criticizes MLA who fired staffer after sex harassment complaint

Notley says if Jason Nixon was her house leader he’d be out of a job immediately.

Red Deer needs to find a solution to syringe debris: city manager

City will consider the problem during the 2018 operating budget talks

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer Dec. 10

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month