Colorado DJ’s suit against Taylor Swift dismissed in groping trial

A sketch of Taylor Swift and her attorneys in Denver Federal Court during the Swift groping trial in Denver
A sketch of Taylor Swift and her attorneys in Denver Federal Court during the Swift groping trial in Denver U.S. August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jeff Kandyba NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

August 12, 2017

By Keith Coffman and Jann Tracey

DENVER (Reuters) – Pop star Taylor Swift on Friday won an important ruling in the trial stemming from her allegation that she was groped by a Colorado disc jockey, with the judge dismissing the DJ’s rival claim accusing the singer of wrongfully getting him fired.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Martinez left intact Swift’s assault and battery countersuit against David Mueller, who asserts he was falsely accused by the recording star and ousted from his $150,000-a-year job at radio station KYGO-FM under pressure from her.

The Grammy-winning artist known for such hits as “Fearless” and “I Knew Your Were Trouble” reacted to the decision with tears of joy, embracing members of her legal team and family members with bear hugs in the courtroom.

Mueller sat alone at the plaintiff’s table, appearing somber as he sipped a glass of water.

Friday’s decision capped the fifth day of a trial highlighted by vivid testimony from Swift charging that Mueller clutched her bare buttocks during a pre-concert fan reception in 2013 against Mueller’s assertion under oath that he did no such thing.

The judge had tossed out Mueller’s defamation-of-character claim against Swift before the trial, ruling that the former Denver DJ had waited too long to file suit under the statute of limitations.

Earlier on Friday, Swift’s former bodyguard corroborated her account of being groped by Mueller, testifying that he saw the radio personality slip his hand under the singer’s skirt as they posed together for a photo with Mueller’s then-girlfriend.

Lawyers for both sides rested their respective cases after the ex-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, took the stand as the final witness to deny seeing Mueller inappropriately touch Swift during the picture-taking session. But she added, “I don’t have eyes in the back of my head.”

After jurors were excused for the day, Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, asked the judge to throw out Mueller’s two remaining legal claims in the trial – disruption of his $150,000-a-year employment contract and interference with his future earnings.

Swift has said her representatives lodged a complaint with KYGO management about the alleged groping but insisted she never demanded Mueller be fired.

Although Martinez agreed to dismiss both claims as they related to Swift, he kept the contract claim intact for Swift’s two co-defendants – her mother, Andrea, and her radio station liaison Frank Bell.

The eight-member jury also will be left to decide whether Mueller is liable for assault and battery, for which Swift is seeking a symbolic $1 in damages.

Swift, known for baring her soul and her grudges in her music, by all accounts was the undisputed star witness of her own trial, giving an unflinching account of the incident in question on Thursday.

In unvarnished language that occasionally drew titters in the courtroom, even from some jurors, Swift testified that she was the victim of a “devious and sneaky act.”

“Your client grabbed my ass,” she told Mueller’s lawyer, Gabriel McFarland. “He stayed latched onto my bare ass cheek. I felt him grab onto my ass cheek under my skirt.”

Greg Dent, Swift’s bodyguard and a former police officer who said he has provided security for many other celebrities, bolstered her narrative when he took the stand on Friday.

“I saw his hand under her skirt. … Her skirt went up. … She jumped,” Dent testified, adding that Swift then moved closer to Mueller’s girlfriend, who was standing on Swift’s other side.

“I was definitely sure that he had been drinking,” Dent said of Mueller. “I don’t know what level. He wasn’t staggering or falling down.”

The photo, repeatedly displayed in court, shows Swift flanked by Mueller and Melcher, all three smiling for the camera. Mueller has his right hand concealed behind Swift’s backside, and she appears to have shifted her hip away from him.

Dent said he did not immediately intervene because he took his cues from Swift, who continued with the meet-and-greet session. When she finished meeting her fans, Dent said, Swift told her staff about the groping.

Following Dent to the stand was Mueller’s longtime friend and former co-host at KYGO-FM, Ryan Kliesch. He repeatedly answered “no” when asked by McFarland if he had ever seen Mueller disrespect, demean, condescend or act inappropriately toward women.

The jury was due to return on Monday for closing arguments in the case.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman and Jann Tracey; Writing by Steve Gorman and Daniel Wallis; Editing by Mary Milliken and Leslie Adler)

  • Mac

    Barely a voice. Squeaks out songs that I quickly turn the dial off. Boring and wealthy beyond imagination. Who cares.

  • Donald York

    if i had a daughter i sure as heck wouldn’t want to see her disrespected this way.
    Taylor Swift seems a decent young woman.

  • Barry Soetoro-Chin

    Head to Hollywood, Dave. Sexual degenerates and perverts like you are welcome there with open arms. You’ll be right at home.

  • thecleaner45

    Swift is a crazy nut job who writes songs about all of her failed male encounters! The DJ probably didn’t acknowledge her so she went on a rant to get him fired. Also because she won an award doesn’t make her special. We’ve seen that when failure Barry got the Nobel Peace Prize!

  • Letmesay

    She is not any different then other women in the same public stage. I don’t keep up with them. They are a waste of time. But I did see the photo and it seems she has her hand behind her as well as he does. So what is with that. Never mind it’s not worth wasting precious time on these bimbo.

  • constitutiononly

    It used to be, if a lady slapped the @#$% out of a creep who made an unwanted pass at her, then that was enough to run him off and shut him down.

  • constitutiononly

    Why were her buttocks bare?

  • semper liber

    Ms. Swift uses pretty rough language for being such a sweet, innocent child. And what’s with the ‘bare cheek’ claim? No undies while wearing a very short skirt in public? That suggests a desire to flash the goods. Not very classy..

    • Clay USA

      She was probably wearing thong underwear to avoid showing panty lines.

  • KevinR.

    The number of hateful comments about Taylor Swift is amazing. It was not her “twerking”, running around in the skimpiest of outfits, and yet so many claim she dressed slutty.

    Interesting.

    • All American

      I agree with you!

  • Bill Cape Coral

    What else would the body guard say if he wants to keep his cushy job.

    Sorry but I don’t buy her story.

  • Pam

    The people in Follywould have believed they are demigods for as long as that industry has been there, you have no idea how many common people they have been able to destroy because somebody got in their space, they demand so much respect and give none, Praise be to God she was put in her place. News flash……. you are not demigods you are Demonrats!!!!!!

  • Tiffthis

    It’s weird cuz the picture in question shows her wearing a knee length skirt, how could he have possibly grabbed her “bare butt”? Over the skirt is more plausible.

  • Jack Woodburn

    Like he’s gonna not lie and protect his boss in court. PROTECTING her is his job! How can he be a viable believable witness?

  • Fredd_Ziffle

    Two scumbags added together do not make one honest person. They’re probably both lying. Force the DJ to do the “right thing” and marry the girl and move to Costa Rica. Problem solved.

    • Jack Woodburn

      Don’t send them here, please. Try Ortega’s Nicaragua instead…

  • scrumsey

    When you dress like a streetwalker, with skirts so short that you CAN reach under it to grab the ‘cheek,.’ do not be surprised when some dbag actually DOES IT.

    • Tyrone Jackson

      Always blame the victim, thanks.

  • Biform25

    She sure plays it up. Looks less credible.

  • Bill Jr

    ‘Oh! Wrong Pictures, Those Were From My Meetings with Executives From UMG (Universal Music Group) and Big Machine Music.’ The Judge Asked ‘Why Were You Naked and On Your Knees?’ Taylor Replied ‘I Wanted The Contract You Idiot.’

    • carolina tom

      was this post written by a Michael Jackson fan?

  • Sue L-J

    Poor snowflake go find your safe place.

    • Widl Man

      Yep, she’ll be known as Taylor the Snowflake from now on. She has no brains in her F’ing head. Any real woman that would have had that done to her,. would have cold-cocked the perpetrator on the spot, but Taylor waited way after the fact to make an issue of it. What an f’ing idiot this woman is.

  • Sue L-J

    He’s going to lose big time.

  • Constitutionalist56

    If there is anyone in the music industry that I can believe, it is Taylor Swift.

    • Widl Man

      Obviously you have all her albums….

      • Constitutionalist56

        No, not even one albumn. I can see that she has a moral compass and she doesn’t hesitate when she speaks. She is not a lying traitor like most of the music industry and Hollyweird personalities are.

        • FreedomFighter

          You know, Obama had a lot of people fooled just like Taylor Swift has you fooled.

          • Constitutionalist56

            And you are just a liberal fool.

          • FreedomFighter

            Not even close princess.

          • Constitutionalist56

            Nevertrump phagget then, same thing YOU LOST GHEYBOY!

          • Constitutionalist56

            You probably own everything by R Kelly and Usher.

          • tedlv

            Yo!

        • Widl Man

          She should have stood up and whacked the guy on the spot instead of waiting .

          • Constitutionalist56

            I think she should have slapped the pig so hard he would have to look in the next county for his face and have him arrested on the spot.