Sunday, 15 December 2019

Taylor Swift: Jury reaches verdict in groping trial, awards singer $1

Taylor-Swift

Taylor Swift has won long-awaited vindication after a jury decided that a radio host groped her during a pre-concert photo opportunity four years ago.

After a weeklong trial over duelling lawsuits, jurors have 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 $US3 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.

US District Judge William Martinez also drastically reduced the amount Mueller could collect.

The singer-songwriter said in her countersuit that she wanted a symbolic $US1 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 hour-long stint on the witness stand last week, Swift blasted a low-key characterisation 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.”

 

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