DENVER – A federal jury in Denver on Monday found that Taylor Swift was assaulted and battered by former Denver DJ David Mueller when he groped her at a photo-shoot ahead of a June 2013 concert, and found that Andrea Swift and Frank Bell did not interfere with Mueller's employment.
The jury also awarded Swift the $1 she had sought in her counterclaim in the suit. Mueller was awarded nothing because the jury found against him.
Taylor hugged her mother and attorneys after the verdict read, and her mother, Andrea, wept. Courtroom reporters said Mueller did not even glance at his attorneys as the verdict was read.
The jury’s decision came on the sixth day of the trial involving Swift, her mother and manager, and the former DJ, David Mueller, and after more than 4 hours of jury deliberations.
Not long after the verdict was read, Swift's camp released a statement on her behalf, saying Swift won a victory for all women.
"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," Swift said.
Swift answered detractors, saying while she benefits from the ability to defend herself in a costly trial, she hopes her fans will be the beneficiaries.
"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," Swift said. "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."
And in a press conference after the trial, her attorney, J. Douglas Baldridge, echoed those sentiments.
"I think it’s a new day. It is a new day because someone with the guts and the courage to stand up, with absolutely no upside in doing so, that being Taylor Swift, has told everyone this is it. The line is drawn,” Baldridge said.
He said that though he was exhausted, he was pleased with the outcome, and said it would have wide-ranging effects on all people.
“Gosh, I’m going to drop. But I’m feeling good. Nothing like something truly good happening," he said. "Not just a win—but something that can make a difference for my kids, your kids—all of us. My son, my daughters—where the lines are. What’s right. What’s wrong. It takes people like Taylor—wonderful people like Taylor—to stand up and draw these lines.”
He said the $1 awarded to Swift is significant not in its monetary value, but in its symbolic value.
“As I said in the closing, that dollar is a single dollar, and it is of immeasurable value in this ever-going fight for us to figure out where the lines are, and what’s right and what’s wrong, and tolerance, and whose body is whose, and so on and so forth," Baldridge said.
Baldridge also praised the Colorado jury who found in Swift's favor, saying they were attentive and true to the law.
“How do I feel about Colorado? Could I tell you how appreciative we are of Colorado! And it’s not just that it’s a wonderful state, it’s a beautiful state: The people here know their civic duty. And that jury knew its civic duty," Baldridge said. "It understood the privileges that come with the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution also include responsibilities. And they knuckled down, and they did the right thing, and they listened to the evidence.”
The judge in the case, William J. Martinez, on Friday removed all claims made by Mueller against Swift herself from the lawsuit, but one claim—that her mother and manager had influence Mueller’s firing from KYGO—went forth to the jury.
Swift’s counterclaim of assault and battery by Mueller also went to the jury.
Mueller originally sued Swift, alleging that she and her team falsely accused him of groping her at a photo shoot before a concert at Denver’s Pepsi Center on June 2, 2013, which led to his wrongful firing by KYGO. He sought reimbursement for his firing, which he alleged was wrongfully done.
Swift filed a counterclaim, alleging that Mueller touched her rear end inappropriately during the photo. She sought only $1 in damages for her counterclaim.
"It's not just a win, but something that can make a difference for my kids, your kids—all of us. My son, my daughters— where the lines are. What’s right. What’s wrong. It takes people like Taylor, wonderful people like Taylor, who we all know to stand up and draw these lines," said Baldridge.
Mueller's attorney said he was disappointed with the verdict but respects the jury's decision.
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