Swift sues ex-radio host for groping her

Pop singer Taylor Swift claims she was groped by ex-radio host David Mueller and is seeking punitive damages.
Pop singer Taylor Swift claims she was groped by ex-radio host David Mueller and is seeking punitive damages. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Pop star Taylor Swift has demanded a trial of a former radio host she accuses of groping her, saying she hopes to stand up for other women who have been assaulted.

She asked for the trial in a legal counter-claim against David Mueller, who last month sued her as he charged he was wrongly dismissed from his job at a Denver radio station over the June 2013 incident.

In the original lawsuit, he said Swift's bodyguards and staff "verbally abused" him as they accused him of fondling the singer while posing for a picture backstage before her show at a Denver arena.

But in the response filed on Wednesday in a Denver court, Swift said he was clearly the culprit and accused him of reaching under her skirt and touching her in an "intimate" place.

The legal filing said: "Ms Swift was forced to begin a several-hour- long concert in front of 13,000 fans still distressed that she had been so inappropriately touched."

The counter-claim said Swift, then 23, felt especially uncomfortable as the radio host was much larger than her at 1.9m and more than 90kg.

Swift requested a jury trial seeking punitive damages from Mueller, saying any money would be donated to charitable groups that protect women. A verdict against him "will serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts", the counter-claim said.

Swift said she has held thousands of similar meet-and-greet events for fans and radio station personnel throughout her career and "she has been inappropriately groped one time - by Mueller".

Mueller's lawyers did not immediately respond to the counterclaim. In the original lawsuit, he acknowledged an incident took place, but blamed it on one of his colleagues, who he said had boasted to him of grabbing Swift's bottom while taking a picture.

His lawsuit said KYGO-FM, a country music station, fired him two days later after the singer's camp warned of action unless the station "handled" the radio host.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline 'Swift sues ex-radio host for groping her'. Print Edition | Subscribe