Music

Taylor Swift Talks About Sexual Assault Case for the First Time

As part of TIME magazine's Person of the Year issue, the singer opens up about her August hearing.
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Taylor Swift—as part of TIME Magazine’s “The Silence Breakers” cover story—has finally spoken about having to testify about her sexual abuse at the hands of David Mueller, a former radio DJ in Colorado. Swift went on the record about the 2013 incident after Mueller sued her for defamation.

As a woman of financial means, Swift countersued, to the tune of $1, an obviously paltry sum to a platinum-selling singer, and testified in court alongside her mother and other members of her team. Coverage from the closed-door hearing remarked on how candidly the singer spoke about the incident, granting the plaintiff and his attorney little formality. “I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over inane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying…I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom—why should I be polite?” 

Swift’s hearing came before the tide of the #MeToo movement, and received relatively little coverage comparatively, but in her interview, she makes it clear why she came forward in the first place. 

“At the time, I was headlining a major arena tour and there were a number of people in the room that saw this plus a photo of it happening. I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance.”

Mueller has still not paid Swift a penny of the dollar she is owed. “I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself,” she says of his stubbornness. 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of TIME and Billy & Hells

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