Taylor Swift has been dubbed as one of “The Silence Breakers,” who Time magazine named their “Person of the Year.” The singer made the list after winning a case against DJ David Mueller following a groping incident she says took place in 2013 — but her battle against him remains unfinished.
Mueller sued Swift for defamation when he lost his job at country music station 98.5 KYGO after she claimed that he grabbed her rear end during a meet and greet — she then countersued him and won the case. The singer revealed in the story published on Wednesday, December 6, that she has yet to receive the symbolic $1 settlement from the DJ that the jury awarded her in August.
“The brave women and men who have come forward this year have all moved the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn’t be tolerated. Going to court to confront this type of behavior is a lonely and draining experience, even when you win, even when you have the financial ability to defend yourself,” she wrote to the publication in her first interview after the trial. “When the jury found in my favor, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself.”
The “Look What You Made Me Do” singer said she was made to feel bad for the DJ losing his job, and when the news first came out people thought she was the one suing him. When she was named as the defendant at the start of the trial she said there was “an audible gasp in the courtroom,” and that’s when the support starting pouring in for her from social media and from other celebrities, including a phone call from Kesha who also went to trial against music producer Dr. Luke. “I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance,” Swift wrote. “It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know. The radio station conducted its own investigation and fired him. Two years later, he sued me.”
The songstress, 27, shared that after seeing her team and mother be accused of lying during the trial she decided she was not going to be polite once she took the stand. “When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother. I was angry,” she revealed. “In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom — why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ‘ass’ has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court.”
The 10-time Grammy winner had a message for others who have dealt with similar abuse. “I would tell people who find themselves in this situation that there is a great deal of blame placed on the victims in cases of sexual harassment and assault. You could be blamed for the fact that it happened, for reporting it and blamed for how you reacted,” she said.
She added: “My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.”
The radio DJ was initially seeking $3 million in damages from Swift in his original lawsuit but it was dismissed in August after a judge ruled that he can’t prove the singer got him fired from his job. Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, said at the time that she was “seeking $1 to show women you can say no.”
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