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.
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