Jury rules that DJ groped Taylor Swift
This was definitely a case of Swift justice.
Pop star Taylor Swift won $1 and long-awaited vindication as a Denver jury Monday decided that a radio host groped her during a pre-concert photo-op four years ago.
After a week-long trial over dueling lawsuits, jurors determined in less than five hours of deliberations that fired Denver DJ David Mueller assaulted the “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer by grabbing her backside as his photo with the star was being taken.
In a statement, Swift thanked her lawyers “for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault.”
“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 added.
“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 six-woman, two-man jury also found that Swift’s mother and radio liaison were within their rights to contact Mueller’s bosses.
Mueller sued the Swifts and their radio handler, Frank Bell, seeking up to $3 million for his ruined career.
The “Shake It Off” singer broke down in tears earlier Monday as Mueller’s lawyer used a now-infamous photo from the 2013 meet-and-greet to refute her allegations.
“Look at Ms. Swift’s face and ask yourself, ‘Is that the face of a person who just had a strange man grab her butt?’ ” attorney Gabe McFarland told jurors during closing arguments.
“That’s the face of someone who is taking a nice photograph.”
The pic shows a red-lipped Swift smiling alongside a blond woman and Mueller, whose right hand is hidden behind the pop star’s black skirt.
“Not a single witness who was there gave any indication that they saw Mr. Mueller bend over or lean down to get low enough to get under Ms. Swift’s skirt,” McFarland said. “He’s not lifting up the skirt . . . It’s not disturbed, it’s perfectly aligned.”
Mueller, 55, sued the singer, her mother Andrea Finlay and her radio liaison Frank Bell in 2015, claiming he was fired from his $150,000-a-year job at KYGO over the allegations.
He’s denied touching Swift, who shot back against him in a countersuit for assault and battery.
“That’s not the type of guy who grabs or gropes a superstar out of the blue,” McFarland said of Mueller, adding that Swift’s “300-pound bodyguard” was nearby at the time.
Swift, 27, wearing a sweater dress and boots, cried during closing arguments — and at one point threw her arms up in exasperation when McFarland suggested she should’ve taken action sooner if she was actually groped.
Her lawyer Douglas Baldridge told the jury of six women and two men that she isn’t interested in bankrupting Mueller — whom she’s suing for a symbolic $1 — but instead wants to send a clear message.
“It means ‘no means no’ and it tells every woman they will decide what will be tolerated with their body,” Baldridge said.
Swift testified last week that Mueller grabbed “a handful of my ass” ahead of her performance at Denver’s Pepsi Center.
On Friday, a judge tossed the portion of Mueller’s lawsuit targeting Swift, saying there was no evidence proving she was directly involved in getting him fired.
Jurors began deliberating around noon local time Monday.
With Post wires