A jury in Denver awarded Taylor Swift a victory and symbolic $1 in damages after finding that former KYGO DJ David Mueller was guilty of groping her bare bottom during a meet-and-greet backstage at a 2013 concert.
Swift alleged that Mueller groped her before a 2013 show at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Swift’s management team told KYGO, then owned by Lincoln Financial Media, about the incident and demanded appropriate action, after which Mueller was fired. He then sued Swift, her mother and Swift’s manager Frank Bell for $3 million, claiming they interfered with his employment. Swift countersued with claims of assault and battery, asking for $1 in compensation. A federal judge dismissed Mueller’s suit last Friday.
After Monday’s verdict was announced, Swift hugged her attorneys and her mother before mouthing the words “thank you” to the jury. Mueller and his team remained expressionless.
“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 in a statement obtained by People Magazine.
“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. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
The verdict came after an emotional day for Swift, who watched as Mueller’s lawyer, Gabe McFarland, argued before an eight-person jury that her allegations of assault destroyed his client’s career. When McFarland claimed that Mueller “is not the guy” who grabbed Swift’s backside, the 27-year-old star shook her head and mouthed the word, “Wow.”
In light of the high-profile lawsuit-countersuit, a bodyguard for the pop singer says that the way backstage meet and greets operate with radio personnel has changed. Already, as a result of the Mueller incident, it came up in court Friday that protocol has changed at Swift concert meet and greets. Her bodyguard Greg Dent testified that following the 2013 incident, he now “quietly warn(s) male photo-takers to keep their hands high.”
Singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado also weighed in on Twitter, saying that she has experienced similar behavior at backstage meet and greets—specifically pointing to radio station employees. “Been in several meet n’ greets where radio staff attempt to cross lines,” Furtado wrote Friday. “Love @taylorswift13 for fighting 4 women’s safety in the workplace.”