DJ groping case

Jury awards Taylor Swift symbolic US$1

Taylor Swift wins in court, jury finds the DJ assaulted her when he grabbed her rear end.

DENVER • A jury decided on Monday that a country radio DJ did grope Taylor Swift before her concert in 2013, awarding the pop star a symbolic US$1 (S$1.40) after a week-long trial.

Swift, 27, cried and hugged her mother as the verdicts were read in the United States District Court in Denver and mouthed an emphatic "thank you" to members of the jury as they left the courtroom.

The six-woman, two-man jury, which deliberated for less than four hours, also rejected claims by former Kygo radio host David Mueller that members of Swift's management team - her mother and a radio representative - got him fired from his "dream job" by making false accusations.

Swift's lawyer Douglas Baldridge had said she did not want to bankrupt Mueller, but saw the award as symbolically "immeasurable to all women", proving that they could report an assault without fear of facing a lawsuit from the attacker.

She said after the verdict that she would donate an unspecified amount to organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.

She said in a statement: "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."

Mueller, 55, showed no reaction as the verdicts were read. He had initiated the litigation in 2015 after he was fired from his job. In his lawsuit, he called the groping accusations false and sued Swift, her mother, Andrea, and radio station liaison Frank Bell over his termination. Swift then countersued for assault and battery.

 

She was dropped from Mueller's case last Friday, after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to suggest Swift had made up the encounter.

 

This marks the end of a trial that drew international coverage, particularly with the star's very direct testimony last week.

When Mueller's attorney asked whether Swift was critical of her bodyguard for not interfering if the DJ had really reached under her skirt, she answered: "I'm critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my a**."

After the attorney suggested Swift could have taken a break in the meet-and-greet if she was upset, she responded: "Your client could have taken a normal photo with me."

WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Jury awards Taylor Swift symbolic US$1'. Print Edition | Subscribe