How Taylor Swift's Sexual Assault Case Encouraged Her to Speak Out About Politics

Taylor Swift looks back at winning her sexual assault case against David Mueller in her new Netflix documentary Miss Americana. Learn what she said at the premiere here

By Elyse Dupre Jan 24, 2020 2:28 PMTags
Taylor Swift, MTV Video Music Awards, MTV VMAs, Red Carpet Fashion, 2019, WidgetAndrew H. Walker/Shutterstock

It's been over two years since Taylor Swift won her sexual assault case against David Mueller. In her new Netflix documentary Miss Americana—which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Thursday—the 30-year-old singer looked back at that time and the impact it had on her. 

"You don't feel a sense of any victory when you win because the process is so dehumanizing," Swift said at one point in the film.

Mueller, a DJ, sued Swift for $3 million after she accused him of groping her at a 2013 concert meet-and-greet and he was fired from his radio station days later. He denied the groping accusation. Swift countersued for a symbolic $1 and won her case.

"No man in my organization or my family will ever understand what that was like," she said in the documentary.

During a Q&A session at the film's premiere, Swift recalled going through the trial with her mother, Andrea, in Denver, "which was a really horrible experience to have."

"I had all the privilege in the world—financial support and the ability to pay for a brilliant lawyer," she said. "I won that trial, but without all that, I didn't know what would happen. It taught me so much and it was the women in my life who were there every single day going into court."

Swift then reflected on how "our political opinions and our opinions are defined by what happens to us in our life."

"That was one of the things that happened to me in my life and seeing what's happened in my home state and then it all culminated and having to have a conversation with people who have been so wonderfully supportive of me throughout my entire career feeling so afraid for my safety," she said.

At one point, the documentary show Swift's dad, Scott, fearing for her safety after she decides to break her silence on politics by showing her support for Phil Bredesen and speaking out against Marsha Blackburn, the latter of whom later won Tennessee's Senate race.

"Dad, I need you to forgive me for doing it, because I'm doing it," she said.

Swift has continued to speak out. For instance, she showed her support for the LGBTQ community by donating $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality project and by penning a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander asking him to support the Equality Act.

Fans can watch Miss Americana on Netflix starting Jan. 31.

- Reporting by Alli Rosenbloom