Taylor Swift Takes the Stand in Groping Trial: "He Had a Handful of My Ass"

Grammy winner has been involved in lawsuit involving ex-DJ she claims touched her inappropriately during a meet-and-greet

By Ken Baker, Samantha Schnurr Aug 10, 2017 3:16 PMTags

Taylor Swift has taken the stand. 

On the fourth day of an ongoing groping trial involving former Colorado DJ David Mueller, the Grammy winner was called by his attorney, Gabriel McFarland, to the stand for questioning for the first time.

Donning a floral summer dress, the star was sworn in and asked about her meet-and-greet encounter with Mueller and his girlfriend at the time, Shannon Melcher. As Swift alleged in her lawsuit against Mueller, the three posed for a photograph together backstage in June 2013 at Denver's Pepsi Center during Swift's ongoing Red concert tour. 

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Jeff Kandyba

At the time, Mueller was the host of 98.5 KYGO's Ryno and Jackson morning show and was invited as part of his job to a meet-and-greet with the star backstage. During the photo, Swift posed in between Melcher and Mueller and claimed he grabbed her butt while the photo was taken. 

"It was a definite grab. A very long grab," she told McFarland on the stand. When asked "how long" the alleged grab took place, Swift replied, "I don't think it would be wise to estimate time in court, but I know it was long enough for me to be completely sure that it was intentional." 

Jeff Kandyba

McFarland asked further questions about the incident, including whether his client had grabbed her "bare bottom." "Yes," she answered. "He stayed latched on to my bare ass cheek... I felt him grab onto my ass cheek underneath my skirt. The first couple of milliseconds I thought it must be a mistake, so I moved to the side very quickly so that his side would be removed from my ass cheek, but it didn't let go," she further testified.

When asked if she tried to get away, the star explained, "It was a very shocking thing that has never happened to me before. This was not something I had ever dealt with. I got as far away from him as I possibly could."

As the line of questioning continued, Swift further clarified where Mueller's hand allegedly was. "Rather than grabbing my ass outside of my clothing, he grabbed my ass underneath my clothing," she said on the stand. "He was busy grabbing my ass underneath my skirt, so he didn't grab it outside of my skirt."

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Once the photograph was taken, Swift recalled "a light switched off in my personality."

"I just said in a monotone voice, 'Thank you for coming,' and then they were gone," she described. "Your client could have taken a normal photo with me." The "Shake It Off" singer said that the "first moment" she had without fans in front of her, she reported the incident. 

As she recalled telling her assistant, "I said, 'That dude just grabbed my ass.'"

Soon, the line of questioning turned to Swift's bodyguard at the event, Greg Dent. McFarland asked Swift about working with Dent, including how long he had worked for her and whether or not she considered him one of the best bodyguards she'd ever had. "I don't have a competition in my mind over best bodyguards," she replied. 

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The musician declared that she trusted Dent and still does and asserted that he saw Mueller "reach under my skirt and grab my ass." McFarland questioned if Dent tried to stop Mueller or call security after the alleged incident, to which she replied "no."

It was "a devious and sneaky act," Swift described. "There was a wall behind me." The lawyer further questioned the pop star, asking if she was critical or questioned Dent's protection of her. 

"What Mr. Mueller did was, like I said, very intentional and the location was very intentional and it happened very quickly and I wasn't going to blame Greg Dent for something Mr. Mueller did," she said. When asked if she was critical of Dent for allowing someone to grope her, she retorted, "No, I am critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my ass."

John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images

While there had been question about whether anyone had glided into the photo or had been jostled while the photo was being taken, Swift maintained that there was no jostling and they were "perfectly" in position for the photo to be taken. "We were in perfect position for a photo. You just stand there and take a photo. This wasn't an action shot," she added. 

Mueller testified Wednesday that he may have touched Swift's ribs with his knuckles during the encounter. "Because I was a larger person, I thought it would be a good idea if I closed my hand, so I didn't poke Taylor with my fingers," Mueller said a day earlier. 

She responded to that claim, stating, "He did not touch my rib. He did not touch my arm. He did not touch my hand. He grabbed my bare ass."

The star confirmed she first told her mother, Andrea Swift, about the incident. Andrea was not in court Thursday because she was not feeling well and granted leave. Swift also denied that someone else could have grabbed her. "He had a handful of my ass," she reiterated. "It happened to me. I know it was him."

When asked whether or not she thought Mueller "got what he deserved," she said, "I don't feel anyting about Mr. Mueller. I don't know him...I don't have any feelings about a person that I don't know. I think what he did was despicable, horrible and shocking. But, I don't know him at all." Mueller initially filed a lawsuit against Swift in 2015, claiming he was fired from his radio show because of her accusation. At the time, a representative for Swift told E! News in a statement, "The radio station was given evidence immediately after the incident. They made their independent decision."

"I am not going to allow you or your client in any way to make me feel like this was my fault, because it isn't," she said on the stand Thursday. "I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions, not mine."

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Addressing the photo in question, McFarland asked Swift why her skirt was not lifting in the front. "Because my ass is in the back of my body," she responded with some laughs from people in the court room. "I named my cat after Dr. Olivia Benson from Law and Order."

McFarland concluded his questioning by asking Swift why several men are usually included in a lineup on police shows. "We would have to have other men in a meet-and-greet who had stuck their hand up my skirt and grabbed my ass cheek," she responded. 

"Because they want accurate IDs right?" he asked again. "This is an accurate ID," she answered. 

After an hour of testimony on the stand, McFarland finished. As for Swift's attorney, Doug Baldridge, he told Judge William Martinez, "Absolutely no questions your honor." 

Following Swift's testimony, McFarland had someone read from Swift's assistant Gabrielle Liddicoat's deposition, in which she had said Swift appeared visibly upset after the meet-and-greet, according to ABC reporter Clayton Sandell

Next, Robert Call, a vice president at KYGO, was called to the stand and asked to testify about his decision to fire Mueller two days after the alleged incident. Per Sandell, Call considered several factors in the firing, including the gap between Mueller and Swift in the photo, his conversation with Swift's "radio guy," Frank Bell, who claimed that Mueller lifted her skirt and touched her rear end, and Mueller's account of what happened, which allegedly had changed. 

"I thought he was lying," Call told Swift's attorney of Mueller, according to Sandell. When asked if that was why he fired him, Call responded, "Yes."