Taylor Swift wins court case, jury finds that David Mueller assaulted Taylor

Jeff Kandyba shows off his courtroom drawings from the Taylor Swift VS David Mueller case

On Friday, Taylor Swift got some good news. The Denver judge threw out part of the original lawsuit involving Taylor and DJ David Mueller. Basically, the judge said that Mueller’s lawyer had not proven that Taylor knowingly set out to destroy Mueller or ruin his career, so Taylor could not be personally sued. Mueller’s case against Andrea Swift, Taylor’s mom, is still up in the air, because Andrea Swift DID try to get Mueller fired… for good reason, because Andrea believed Taylor when Tay told her mom that Mueller sexually assaulted her. The exact moment that Taylor was (allegedly) being sexually assaulted was caught on camera. This is the photo:

This photo has been used as evidence on both sides. Andrea cited the photo as evidence of Taylor’s assault because of what she saw as Taylor’s discomfort, and Taylor’s body language as she angled her body away from Mueller. Mueller’s lawyer claimed that the photo proves that Mueller didn’t reach under her skirt, because the front of the skirt would have been moving (a claim that makes no sense). As it turns out, Mueller’s lawyer also made a very special douchebag argument in his closing statement about this photo too:

A lawyer for the former ​Denver radio DJ ​i​n the Taylor Swift grope trial pointed to a key photograph Monday in an attempt to persuade jurors that his client was innocent of fondling the “Bad Blood” songstress.

“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?’” attorney Gabe McFarland asked in his closing argument in a Denver federal courthouse, CNN reported. “That’s the face of someone who is taking a nice photograph.”

McFarland was referring to a picture snapped during a meet-and-greet in 2013, when his shock jock client David Mueller allegedly grabbed Swift’s bare behind as the two and another person smile and pose. ​Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, touched her daughter’s right leg as Swift cried and wiped her face ​as he showed the picture. Her lawyer also rubbed her back.

“Not a single witness who was there gave any indication that they saw Mr. Mueller bend over or lean down to get low enough to get under Ms. Swift’s skirt,” McFarland added. Mueller sued Swift, her mother Andrea and the singer’s radio liaison Frank Bell, accusing them of getting him fired over the groping allegations. Swift – who cried during portions of closing arguments — countersued for assault and battery.

On Friday, a judge threw out the portion of Mueller’s lawsuit against Swift, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove she got him fired. Jurors will weigh whether Bell and Andrea Swift intentionally caused Mueller to be canned from his $150,000-a-year radio gig and whether Mueller assaulted or battered the “1984” crooner.

[From Page Six]

We’ve talked about the myth of the perfect victim, and how it often feels like the victims of assault and violence are the only ones questioned about their motives, their clothes, their alcohol consumption, their smiles. A woman is sexually assaulted and there is photo evidence of the assault. The photo of the assault is used against the woman because she wasn’t acting enough like a victim, the lawyer says. A perfect victim would have immediately known how to act while being assaulted, ergo Taylor Swift is not a victim of anything because she was smiling uncomfortably. That’s Mueller’s defense: if I assaulted her, how come Taylor didn’t do anything? Except she did do something: she went to her bodyguard, assistant and mother and told them what happened. Which is how we got here.

After the lawyers wrapped up their closing statements, the jury deliberated for four hours and came back with their verdict: Mueller “did assault and batter” Taylor and “Andrea Swift and Frank Bell were found not liable of tortious interference with contract.” Taylor was awarded $1, which is all she asked for, and Mueller will likely crawl back under a rock, I hope. This was her statement:

“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.”

[From E! News]

Some have questioned how some of Taylor’s harshest critics can defend her about anything, and I think the answer is pretty simple: Taylor was right, she was brave to handle this situation in this way, and she likely has helped victims of assault come forward and let their voices be heard. I’ll yell about Taylor’s love life forever, but some days, I’m really proud of her. This is one of those days.

taylor1

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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76 Responses to “Taylor Swift wins court case, jury finds that David Mueller assaulted Taylor”

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  1. Louise says:

    Cue Law and Order music…

  2. Nicole says:

    I thought her statement was great even acknowledging her privilege to defend herself and win. Also glad she will be donating to a victims defense fund.
    These are the days where I know Taylor can be a better person. Sadly I wish there was more of “this” Taylor than the image obsessed one.

    • poop says:

      I agree! Can you imagine a less fortunate woman trying to defend herself in a case like this? Those slimey lawyers really tried to argue that she didn’t look uncomfortable enough?!

    • lucy2 says:

      That was an excellent statement, and an excellent point about privilege and the ability to pursue justice – which should be an option for everyone but in reality is not.

    • Sixer says:

      She’s everything I dislike about celebrity, personal branding, and the corporate-dominated world we find ourselves in, but she has done God’s work here. Kudos to her.

      (And I don’t even believe in God!)

    • jammypants says:

      Not just wealth privilege, but I really appreciate her acknowledgement of her privilege in society and in life too. It doesn’t specifically mention race or class, but imo that’s her acknowledgement of it. I’ve been harsh on her in the past, and probably will be for any other shenanigans, but here, I did feel proud of her.

    • Madly says:

      Agreed. I wanted to wait to see what happened and not rush to judgement like anyone else. While I am no fan of hers, I am glad she won.

      I still hate how her team has used this case for her PR. She better be careful about that.

      • jammypants says:

        I think in this case, even if it’s for personal gain, it also has the double effect of helping the cause. I’d much rather PR like this. It’s mature, not juvenile or petty like her past endeavors.

      • emilybyrd says:

        Yes, in this case, the PR will help young girls and women who are her fans–and even those who don’t care for her or her music–that having someone touch you like that is not allowed. That Taylor countersued Mueller and refused to let this case go to settlement is a strong message that behavior like his is wrong (and wrong enough to go to court and fight the good fight against).

        In a recent post about this case on this site, I remember reading some comments from women who weren’t sure whether Mueller’s act constituted sexual assault. Some women posters had been on the receiving end of groping actions more than once, and never considered them to be more than behavior that they simply had to routinely ignore. I like to think that Taylor’s defense and countersuit might help begin to change that mindset, so that women know their bodies belong completely and exclusively to themselves. No one has the right to touch you if you don’t want them to!

  3. HH says:

    She grates on my last nerve, but I saw this headline in the news yesterday and let out a loud “YES!” Nothing but applause for her handling of this situation that no one should have to deal with.

  4. detritus says:

    This side of her is the role model. The business strategy and no nonsense and standing up for yourself.
    Not what she puts forward as her brand.
    She did awesome here. Every single time there is a win like this, it changes things a little bit.

    • frisbee says:

      “This side of her is the role model. The business strategy and no nonsense and standing up for yourself.” Yes, this, maybe she will put this forward as a ‘brand’, it would be great if she did but will that appeal to her conservative right wing fan base? She’s in a difficult position really, she won’t want to alienate her core supporters but would make up a lot of ground elsewhere if she pursued this.

  5. Elle says:

    While I will never be Taylor Swifts #1 fan, I really admire what she has done here, and for going though with this. Good for her, she killed it on the stand and stuck by her guns.

  6. Miles says:

    I legit wanted to scream when I heard that lawyer’s statement. I’m so glad his team lost. What a grade A ass hole. I want someone to clobber him in the head, take a picture of it and then ask if he looks like he’s getting beaten.

    As for Taylor, this win was huge. Her whole fan base is a bunch of young girls who are going to encounter situations like this and I know that her speaking up AND winning will show them that it’s okay to stand up for yourself even when our society tells you no.

    I’m also glad that she acknowledged her privilege in this situation and how not all women have the same opportunity. I knew she was going to donate money whether she won or lost. Taylor’s PR persona is laughable but she’s always been a charitable person so her donating money was going to be a no brainer.

    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      I co-sign to everything you wrote (but I will take the clobbering part as a metaphor, as far as Im concerned) !

    • otaku fairy says:

      Agreed. Also, the TMZ people can go fuck themselves with that dismissive little tone. It’s unfortunate but predictable that the response of some people to this situation has been to portray Taylor Swift and others as ‘overreacting’ just because she wasn’t actually raped and was “only” touched sexually without her consent (and in public too). And she does look uncomfortable in that photo- like she’s trying to keep it together because she’s in public but also can’t believe what this person is actually doing and is trying to distance herself from him. Glad the judge ruled against him, and also about the way Taylor and her mom handled this situation.

    • jammypants says:

      If he had a daughter or sister in Taylor’s place in that photo, he wouldn’t dare say such crap in public. So disingenuous.

  7. Kakoo says:

    This is a really positive result. I really admire her – I can’t imagine how scary it must be to be cross-examined (even without the publicity that she knew this case would cause) – to be on the stand and answer hostile questions as she did is truly the mark of a brave young woman. She’s also clearly very fortunate in her legal team – but during cross examination she’s there in the spotlight. This must have been a grim experience and I’m glad it’s turned out this way.

  8. Mia 4s says:

    Here’s how it works folks;

    Am I a fan of Taylor Swift? No. Do I like her? No.

    Do I believe her when she says she was assaulted and am I proud of her actions and do I admire how she handled this? YES YES YES.

    None of the above is a contradiction.

    • frisbee says:

      I agree with you, I don’t like her, I’m not a fan but as I posted above, credit where it’s due is not contradictory.

    • QueenB says:

      Yeah I dont understand the people who now want to forget everything about her.

      Both things have nothing to with each other.

      Im glad about this trial but I will also not forget her pure white woman being wronged by a black man crap. Or being silent on Trump. After cashing in on feminism big time.

      Its also sad it needed something like this for her to aknowledge other women for once.

      We can support her in this and see this as important without turning her into a hero.

      • otaku fairy says:

        You’re right. One of the problems cropping up with this case though is that some people with certain agendas were using the fact that she does have a track record of being manipulative/less than trustworthy in smaller disputes that she’s had with her peers in the industry as proof that the guy was innocent. With women, everything is seen in black and white- either a woman is 100% honest, transparent, and innocent about everything at all times no matter how small (let’s face it, no human is) or an accusation about a crime/sexual assault/ physical abuse, etc, is not to be taken seriously. There’s just no moderation with people when it comes to women.

      • detritus says:

        You know what, this is true.
        She did good work, but she has a long way to go when her brand finds success on bringing down others, and especially when it plays into disgusting narratives like you mentioned.

      • jammypants says:

        I’ve seen more staunt Casey Affleck apologists than anyone who can bother to see all sides for women. The women in Casey’s settled case were treated as cardboard villains, trying to rip him off and ruin his reputation. Ugh it bothers me so much. How can anyone think Taylor is overreacting? This case was a symbolic gesture of standing up to what is acceptable toxic sexist behavior and she only bothered to sue back because he sued her first.

  9. Alix says:

    The court’s sketch artist leaves a lot to be desired, IMO.

  10. detritus says:

    Can you just use any argument you want, as long as it doesn’t alienate the jury? like creepy stereotypes are cool as long as people believe you, so you focus on picking the right jury members?

    I just don’t understand how this type of language can still be used. Same with the stuff in the Gomeshi case. Can’t this be fixed somehow?

    • Cannibell says:

      The similarities are there with Gomeshi, but he was so much more powerful than this guy, and in this case, Swift had more leverage on the power scale – bless her for using it so wisely. And what you said about creepy stereotypes and winning over a jury.

      • Oh-Dear says:

        and many of the Gomeshi women maintained contact and continued to see him in various settings afterward. The complicated relationship the women had with him are especially hard for apologists to make sense of when they can’t see predatory behaviour in a ‘straightforward’ assault case. Assualt cases have a long way to go, as does the narrative and requirement for proof of assault. I wonder if the outcome would be different if the Gomeshi victims filed a civil case?

  11. krAkken says:

    His hand is in her ass in this photo!!
    What a mega douche to assume and argue that the photo exonerates this trash ex- dj. Enjoy your well earned unemployment and legal fees pig.

    • OhDear says:

      Yeah, the level of entitlement on that guy is…. interesting, to say the least.

    • Cee says:

      Yeah, to me that photo is crystal clear. Her skirt is even bunched up on one side. His hand was definitely underneath her skirt.

    • Teebee says:

      It is so obvious he’s doing something with his hand and her behind… That his lawyer went there, claiming nothing happened because look at that smile is horrific. I have been groped, in public. I didn’t cry out, hit the guy, I pretended it didn’t happen because I was embarrassed and thought those around me would think I was making a big deal out of nothing. That is the world we have created. One where being discreet, politely indifferent looks better than being rightfully indignant. I believed every plaintiff in the Jian Ghomeshi trial and my heart bled for them when they were branded liars.

      I don’t think that this verdict indicates a shift in the power of assault cases, we are far from correcting a centuries old problem, but any opportunity to right a wrong, to reaffirm a woman’s right to her body, is a small chip at that boulder.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “That his lawyer went there, claiming nothing happened because look at that smile is horrific.”

        YES.
        That she was asked if she could have done something different in the situation, that she was attacked for not having the correct look on her face in the photo….it just really enrages me. Women should not have to put up with this crap.

  12. H says:

    Thank you for this article. I guess the question for me Is how so many who consider themselves feminist can NOT be with her on this? She is routinely attacked for her silence, but the silence of many of those same critics is deafening in this instance. I completely agree that you don’t have to be a fan or agree with everything she does to support her in this instance, AND if you chose not to support her in an assault case, what values are you really supporting? What she did was brave. Many celebrities in her position would not have put themselves through that, would have settled. Indeed, that is clearly what the DJ hoped for when he sued her.

    • TQB says:

      I agree. I can loathe her 99% of the time and still believe no one has the right to assault her. She did good here. Lots of good. It doesn’t cost me anything to acknowledge that. And it’s not “grudging support” either. She has a voice, she commands attention, and she used that to good ends here.

      I live in Maine, and our governor is a nightmare, except he was raised in a home with domestic violence and crusades against it. I don’t have to like him to acknowledge the good he’s done in this area. Wouldn’t ignoring it make me the same kind of judgmental, closed-minded asshole I rail against?

    • otaku fairy says:

      It was bothersome how there were some people who don’t even have the excuse of being MRAs/conservatives trying to shame her and paint her as manipulative/a bad role model for not calling the police right away or as being manipulative for even fighting the issue at all.

    • jammypants says:

      Seeing her success makes my heart ache even more for Kesha. If only more women would be believed but they have to prove so much to even come close to winning. That Brock Turner case still disturbs me to this day. It was a hollow victory for the victim. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to despise all men.

  13. Enough Already says:

    This is how you shake it off.

  14. Jessi says:

    He is on Good Morning America, and says he might appeal.
    Disgusting pig.

  15. FishBeard says:

    Yes! I’m not a fan of Taylor by any means, but it’s fantastic for people, especially young girls and boys, to see that sexual assault is unacceptable and should be met with consequences.

  16. EOA says:

    Taylor Swift was great here, full stop. No need to go into how much you dislike her otherwise. You don’t need disclaimers to acknowledge that you admire her actions.

  17. Merritt says:

    Good. Taylor deserved to win. The DJ was arrogant and privileged enough to think he could grope a woman, blatantly lie about groping a woman, and then try to make money off of the same woman. Now everyone knows what type of person he is. He brought this on himself.

  18. Lucy says:

    I don’t know about about the perfect victim, but I do know about the perfect resolution. This is it.

  19. Melior4 says:

    This trial went on for 4 years ?!?

    • TQB says:

      2, I believe. The incident happened 4 years ago, he sued her 2 years ago. Not uncommon especially in something like this that was so obviously supposed to be a shakedown of a celeb for quick cash. Her attorneys’ first step would have been to BURY the plaintiff in paper.

  20. Bex says:

    She did brilliantly while being cross examined and her statement is perfect. Good on her, she’s done something really commendable here.

  21. paranormalgirl says:

    It would be nice if this were to change her in some way. Make her see that her “power” can effect change and not just tear down others. I liked the version of Taylor who was on the stand.

  22. Tig says:

    Appeal??? Ha ha ha!! The $$$ grab effort continues. Seriously, if he does this lunacy, I sincerely hope this time she does ask for court and appeal costs, as well as her attorney’s fees. She may not have wanted to bankrupt him, but sure seems he wants to
    do it to himself. And why was HE on GMA?? Good grief.

  23. teacakes says:

    She was a true badass in the cross-examination, and that victory was well deserved.

    And I can’t believe that photo, it couldn’t be more blindingly obvious that his hand is somewhere it shouldn’t be – she’s visibly cringing away from him, and as she herself said – her ass is located on the back of her body, so no wonder the front of her skirt looks undisturbed. This human piece of excrement deserves every bit of the public humiliation and unemployment, good on Taylor for standing up for herself!

  24. Sarah B says:

    I can see David Mueller being a conservative talk radio host…

  25. Lady Keller says:

    I have to be completely honest when I first heard this story my first thought was “so what, he grabbed your ass. Get over it , not like it’s a big deal. We’ve all been there” But this is exactly why this is so important. I’m a 40 year old woman who has had a life time of being objectified, groped, catcalled, having my body scrutinized by men so much so that it seems second nature and unavoidable that some d bag will reach out and grab your ass wheever the chance arises and there is nothing you can do about it.

    I hope that young women and men hearing this story take note. Women’s bodies are their own and are not there for the taking. It is never OK to grab someone like this. Hopefully moving forward we can make a change and a younger generation won’t grow up thinking the way I did.

  26. Shannon says:

    I don’t have a big opinion of her one way or the other. I guess it’s generally positive, but I don’t think about her much. I’ve seen her do some interviews where she came off pretty sweet and I couldn’t care less about her love life or whatever. But I’m happy for this outcome, for her and for all women. A bright spot in a pretty dark year so far. She did the right thing.

  27. Erica_V says:

    So proud of her! This guys is absolute trash.