David Mueller claimed he was fired from his job at radio station KYGO after being falsely accused by the 27-year-old pop star of groping her butt while posing for a photo. He did admit he may have accidentally touched her ribs. “I felt what seemed to be a rib cage or ribs,” he said during the first day of testimony.
Mueller sued Swift, her mother and her radio promotions director in 2015 for $3 million in damages. The singer countersued for a symbolic $1, alleging Mueller of “reaching under her dress and grabbing her bottom” during the incident.
Gabriel McFarland, Mueller’s lawyer, said the photo in question showed no evidence to support Swift’s claim. “If you look at that photo, his hand is not underneath her skirt,” McFarland said during testimony. “It’s not ruffled, rumbled, affected in any form or fashion.”
McFarland also suggested Swift may have mistaken Mueller for someone else who inappropriately touched her, but her lawyer insisted she was certain. “It’s a humiliating experience to be accused of something that despicable,” Mueller testified, claiming he’s been unable to find a job since his dismissal.
Mueller was also accused of destroying evidence, including recorded conversations between himself and his KYGO bosses.
Swift is expected to testify later during the trial and said she will donate any damages to charities protecting women from sexual assault, to “serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”