Alo Ceballos/GC Images, Jawad Elatab/Splash News
Taylor Swift ‘s mother Andrea Swift got emotional in a Denver federal court Wednesday as she testified at her daughter’s trial against former DJ David Mueller, accusing him of sexually assaulting the singer.
The 27-year-old pop star maintains that backstage at one of her concerts in 2013, he reached under her dress and grabbed her butt while they posed for a photo together. Mueller, 55, has denied her allegations and also says they led to him losing his job. He sued Swift for $3 million in damages, accusing her of fabricated the groping story and having one of her security employees tell it to his boss, which allegedly led to his termination. She countersued him for assault and battery. A trial over both lawsuits began this week.
“I knew what happened, I heard it from her, I heard it from my daughter’s mouth. He sexually assaulted her, right there, that guy,” Swift’s mother said in court, pointing at Mueller.
Andrea said Swift told her, “Mom, a guy just grabbed my ass in the meet-and-greet.'” She said her daughter told her the man said he was “with the radio station.”
Andrea broke down in tears as she recalled what Swift told her about her initial response to Mueller taking part in the photo op.
“She couldn’t believe that after he grabbed her, that she thanked them for being there,” she said. “It was just destroying her that she said that…as a parent it made me question why I taught her to be so polite in that moment.”
She said they did not report the incident to the police because she did not want it to “define” Swift’s life.
“I did not want her to have to live through the endless memes and GIFs and anything else that tabloid media or trolls would be able to come up with…making her relive this awful moment over and over again,” Andrea said.
“I was upset to the point where I wanted to vomit and cry at the same time,” Andrea said about hearing about the encounter, adding, “We felt it was imperative to let his employers know what happened.”
Swift has been attending the trial proceedings. On Wednesday, she sat mostly cross-legged at the defense table seated next to her mom and seemed relaxed and smiled a few times before the jury came in. Swift wore a white blouse and matching mid-thigh-length white skirt, paired with a black blazer and beige sandals and her signature red lipstick. She took notes on yellow Post-Its and shared them with her mother and lawyer throughout the proceedings.
Mueller had moments earlier testified that during the encounter with Swift, he had his palm down and only recalled touching her rib cage with his knuckles.
“I know it went behind her,” he told Swift’s attorney Douglas Baldridge. “And at that point I don’t know where my hand went and that’s why I would say it was an accident.”
“Do you know where your hand was not?” his lawyer Gabriel McFarland asked, to which he replied: “It was not on Taylor Swift’s rear end.”
“Because I was a larger person I thought it would be a good idea if I closed my hand so I didn’t poke Taylor with my fingers,” Mueller said.
The jury, made up of six women and two men, was shown a photo of the picture taken of Swift and Mueller, which also includes his girlfriend. Mueller’s hand is behind the lower end of Swift’s body. Mueller said in court the pic looks “awkward” and “weird.”
The singer’s attorney asked him if he could have put his hand on her shoulder.
“I didn’t want to hurt Miss Swift,” Mueller said.
“I thought it would go straight across but it ended up going down,” he said. “My hand didn’t start out at rear end level. It started higher…I slid across and it came into contact with her ribs.”