David Mueller asserted he was falsely accused and ousted from his job under pressure from Swift. (Reuters: Lucy Nicholson)
A judge has thrown out a Denver radio host’s case against Taylor Swift, in a trial that delved into their duelling lawsuits over whether he groped her during a backstage meet-and-greet and whether she and her team ruined his career.
- Judge determined Mueller could not prove Swift personally set out to have him fired
- Jury to considered identical allegations against Swift’s mother and radio liaison
- Swift says Mueller subjected her to “definite grab”, Mueller says hand was at “rib-cage level”
US District Judge William Martinez determined that the pop star could not be held liable because David Mueller failed to prove that she personally set out to have him fired after the 2013 photo op.
His identical allegations against Swift’s mother and her radio liaison will go to jurors for a verdict.
Mueller denies groping Swift and sued the singer, her mother, Andrea Swift, and their radio handler, Frank Bell, seeking up to $3 million as compensation for his ruined career.
The singer-songwriter said in her countersuit that she wanted a symbolic $1 and the chance to stand up for other women.
The jury will still consider her claim.
Taylor Swift is seeking a symbolic $1 in damages, saying she wants to stand up for other women. (AP)
Swift teared up as the judge read his decision, saying there was no evidence her actions were insincere.
Afterward, her team smiled and embraced, while Mueller’s side did not speak.
DJ subjected Swift to ‘long and horrifying’ grope
The move came after days of testimony from the singer and others and just before jurors were set to hear closing arguments.
Swift spent an hour on the witness stand on Thursday defiantly recounting what she called a “despicable and horrifying and shocking” encounter before a concert.
“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 in her testimony.
Mueller has testified the photo was “weird and awkward,” but says he touched Swift in the ribs. (AP: David Zalubowski)
Swift’s testy exchange with Mueller’s attorney occasionally elicited chuckles — even from the eight-person jury.
She got a laugh when she said her security guard saw Mueller “lift my skirt” but someone would have had to have been underneath her to see the actual groping — “and we didn’t have anyone positioned there”.
Swift testified that after the photo was taken, she tried to get as far away Mueller as she could.
She said she was stunned and did not say anything to Mueller or halt the event after he left because she did not want to disappoint several dozen people waiting in line for photos with her.
Mueller says hand was at ‘rib-cage level’
In the image, shown to jurors during opening statements but not publicly released, Mueller’s hand is behind Swift, just below her waist. Mueller’s then-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, is on the other side of Swift. All three are smiling.
Mueller has testified the photo was “weird and awkward,” but he touched Swift in the ribs, not in the rear.
He testified his hand was touching her skirt after he put his arm around her and their arms got crossed.
“My hand was at rib-cage level and apparently it went down,” he said in an earlier testimony.
Ms Melcher testified Friday that she saw nothing happen during the brief encounter and that she and Mueller were rudely confronted and escorted out of the arena that evening.
Ms Melcher said Mueller was devastated by the accusation.