Taylor Swift Wins Groping Trial After Jury Decides DJ David Mueller Assaulted and Battered Pop Star

Highly publicized case involving the pop star stems back to a 2013 incident at a meet-and-greet in Colorado

By Ken Baker, McKenna Aiello Aug 14, 2017 10:51 PMTags

Taylor Swift's legal battle against David Mueller has come to an end. 

After four hours of deliberation, an eight-member jury comprised of six women and two men unanimously decided the Colorado-based DJ did assault and batter her, E! News has learned. Additionally, the jury found Swift's mother Andrea Swift and Frank Bell not liable for tortious interference with contract. 

Swift smiled as the decision was read. 

Earlier today, Muller's attorney Gabriel McFarland and Swift's legal representative Douglas Baldridge delivered their closing arguments. The international pop star appeared visibly emotional as she heard McFarland ask the courtroom if Swift's face in a photo with Mueller was that of a woman who had just been groped during the 2013 meet-and-greet where the alleged incident occurred. 

Baldrige called Mueller's since-dismissed lawsuit against Swift "shameful and cowardly," later referencing the $1 Swift requested in punitive damages in her countersuit claim.

Court Appearances

"By returning a verdict on Ms. Swift's counterclaim for a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation...You will tell every woman...that no means no," he said. 

She released the following statement to E! News immediately after news of her legal victory broke. "I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration, my attorneys Doug Baldridge, Danielle Foley, Jay Schaudies and Katie Wright for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year long trial process."

Swift continued, "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. 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 highly-publicized case included four days of testimony from Swift herself, Andrea, and her former bodyguard Greg Dent. The Grammy winner took the stand last Thursday, offering a gripping summary (which was met with appreciation from fellow celebrities) of the alleged sexual assault. "He stayed latched on to my bare ass cheek," Swift testified. "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 continued. "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."

The Taylor Swift Groping Trial: Everything You Need to Know About Why the Singer Is in Court and Why It Matters to So Many Women
Ed Clemente Photography

When Mueller's legal team questioned her security personnel for not stepping in, Dent said that although he saw the DJ's hand under her skirt, "I looked at her to see if she was looking at me and wanted me to move in and she proceeded with the picture."

In June 2013, Mueller, then the host 98.5 KYGO's Ryno and Jackson morning show was invited backstage following a Red concert tour performance at Denver's Pepsi Center. During the meet-and-greet, he posed for a photo with Swift and his former girlfriend, Shannon Melcher. Hours later, Mueller claimed that a member of Taylor's security team approached the pair while still in the concert arena and accused him of grabbing the singer's butt.

Mueller and Melcher were ultimately escorted out of the venue, and two days later he was fired from his job. Vice president at KYGO Robert Call explained his decision to terminate Mueller while taking the stand, citing the physical gap between his employee and Swift in the photograph, his conversation with Frank Bell (whose allegations aligned with Swift), and Mueller's own account of the encounter, which allegedly had changed.

More than two years later, Mueller sued the 27-year-old, Andrea Swift and Bell in civil court, blaming his ruined career on Swift's false allegations. He sought $3 million in damages.

In response, Taylor countersued for assault and battery for a symbolic $1, her legal team arguing that a trial would "serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts."

On Friday, a judge dismissed Swift as a defendant in the case over lack of evidence and witness testimony. Four of the five remaining claims involving Andrea and Bell were also dismissed, the last of which was deliberated by the jury.