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Taylor Swift wins $1 sexual assault case against DJ David Mueller

Pop star Taylor Swift has won a sexual assault case against ex-radio DJ David Mueller, who she said had groped her at a 2013 concert

15 August 2017, 9:38am
Pop singer Taylor Swift
Pop singer Taylor Swift
Pop star Taylor Swift has won her trial over a years-old groping incident, claiming $1 and sending a message about the consequences of harassment.

Former DJ David Mueller assaulted her by grabbing her bottom beneath her skirt during a photo shoot, a jury in Denver, Colorado, found, awarding Swift a symbolic $1 (85c) in damages that she had sought.

In seeking a symbolic $1 in damages, Swift sought to make a public point that women should not have to endure unwanted physical contact, her attorney said.

"It means 'no means no' and it tells every woman they will decide what will be tolerated with their body," Swift's attorney Douglas Baldridge said in his closing remarks, according to Reuters.

During the trial, Swift and Mueller offered duelling counts of what transpired during a meet-and-greet event four years ago. While Mueller denied any inappropriate touching, Swift recounted a "definite grab" that was "horrifying and shocking."

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

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 wanted 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.

The station vice president was contacted and asked for an investigation of Mueller's conduct. He also sent the station executive a photo taken during a Denver stopover on the singer's Red tour, picturing Swift, Mueller and Mueller's then-girlfriend at the meet-and-greet.

The station fired the DJ two days later.

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.

He had originally tried to sue the pop star, saying that her claims had cost him his job. But that lawsuit was thrown out by a judge last week.

On Monday, the jury also rejected similar claims Mueller had made against the singer's mother, Andrea Swift, and her radio liaison, Frank Bell.

In a statement following the verdict, Swift said: "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 organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."

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