It is alleged that during a backstage meet and greet in 2013, someone sexually assaulted pop star Taylor Swift, by lifting her skirt and groping her. There is no doubt in Swift’s mind that the act -which we will call exactly what it is, sexual assault- was committed by then-radio host David Mueller. However, since Swift’s allegations, Mueller has held steadfast in his insistence that he never touched the singer and last last year, he served a counter-suit to her’s of assault and battery, claiming that her accusations resulted in his being let go from his role at KYGO two days following the alleged assault.
Adding to his claim, Mueller has stated that an assault did take place – at the hands of his former boss Eddie Haskell. He alleges that Haskell not only groped Swift, but bragged about it that night and told Mueller that “he and one of his friends in the industry think Ms. Swift must wear bicycle shorts under her stage outfits.”
In a counter-suit, served in October, Swift’s attorney J. Douglas Baldridge wrote that, “It was Mueller — and she is not confused in the slightest about whether her long-term business acquaintance, Mr. Haskell, was the culprit…. Resolution of this Counterclaim will demonstrate that Mueller alone was the perpetrator of the humiliating and wrongful conduct targeted against Ms. Swift, and will serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.” At the time, she had requested a jury trial, adding that any money she might receive involving the lawsuit would be donated to charitable organizations “dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard.”
Now, Mueller is has added a further two claims of slander to an amended complaint filed last Thursday in which he claims Swift’s statements during their legal battle are false and have caused harm to his reputation, profession and standing in the community. Mueller’s attorney, M. Gabriel McFarland, added to the amended complaint that: “The contention that Mr. Mueller lifted up Ms. Swift’s skirt and grabbed her bottom, while standing with his girlfriend, in front of Ms. Swift’s photographer and Ms. Swift’s highly trained security personnel, during a company-sponsored, VIP, backstage meet-and-greet, is nonsense.”
This much is clear: someone -be it Mueller or Haskell- violated Taylor Swift in a professional environment in 2013, leaving her “surprised, upset, offended and alarmed.” She has every right to seek justice, as anyone confronted with assault does, particularly in the workplace. Taylor Swift is one of many who have spoken out about the sexism women face in the music industry, with an entire blog (This Industry Ain’t Safe) dedicated to the many and varied forms of physical, sexual, emotional and mental violence women in the music industry face. Most recently, Sony has claimed to be “legally unable” to terminate the contract of recording artist Kesha, who has allegedly suffered a decade of abuse at the hands of her producer and collaborator, Dr. Luke. As well as fighting her own legal battle against Mueller, Swift (along with many other public figures) showed support for Kesha, donating $250,000 to her fellow singer “as a show of support” to help with her financial needs during this “trying time.”
Image: Hollywood Reporter