Taylor Swift brushed away tears on Monday (14Aug17) as a lawyer for the Colorado DJ accused of groping the singer questioned why she was smiling in the photo taken at the time of the alleged incident.
The Bad Blood hitmaker returned to a Denver federal court this week to hear closing arguments in her countersuit against David Mueller, who stands accused of lifting up her skirt and touching her butt during a backstage meet-and-greet at a 2013 concert in the city.
He had his case for slander, initially filed in 2015, dismissed on Friday (11Aug17) after U.S. District Judge William Martinez ruled Mueller had failed to prove Swift’s complaint about his reported actions had cost him his job at local radio station KYGO.
Mueller’s lawyer, Gabriel McFarland, wrapped up his defence on Monday as he reminded the jury why Swift should not be awarded damages for sexual assault and battery – allegations the DJ has always denied, insisting it was a co-worker who had touched the musician inappropriately.
Addressing the jury members, McFarland declared Mueller is “not the guy” behind the groping, and then referred to the photo evidence from the meet-and-greet, which depicted the DJ and his then-girlfriend posing for the snap beside a smiling Swift. He claimed her joyful expression appeared to contradict her trial testimony, in which she told the court Mueller had placed his hand on her butt as soon as the image was taken.
“Look at Ms. Swift’s face,” McFarland said. “Is that the face of someone who’s in shock, who is upset?”
According to The Associated Press, his remarks prompted Swift to briefly tear up, as her mother Andrea placed a protective hand on her daughter’s leg and her lawyer, Douglas Baldridge, rubbed his client’s back.
Meanwhile, Baldridge used his closing statements to hammer home the reason Swift was only seeking $1 (£0.80) in damages, explaining she wanted to stand up for all victims of sexual assault as “No means no.”
He also branded the DJ an “aggressor” and asked jurors to “return a verdict for a single dollar, a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation”.
The case has since been handed over to the jury for deliberations.