Taylor Swift faces jury trial in DJ assault case

Swift claims former KYGO radio host David Mueller groped her during a meet-and-greet.

Taylor Swift is to take part in a jury trial after claiming former KYGO radio host David Mueller groped her during a backstage meet-and-greet.

David Mueller has been accused of lifting up Swift’s skirt and groping her at a Colorado meet-and-greet in June 2013, an allegation that saw him lose his job as a DJ at the Denver country music radio station 98.5 KYGO. Mueller initially sued Swift for what he described as her “false” allegations, a move that was soon met by a counter-suit from Swift for sexual assault and battery in October 2015. In her deposition, Swift described feeling “frantic, distressed and violated” by the alleged incident.

Mueller denies the assault claim and contends that he lost his job for no good reason.

Both versions of the story will be heard at a jury trail, set to take place on August 7. The trail itself will run for nine days, with the law requiring the Court to ‘treat Mueller’s version of the facts as true at this stage of litigation’.

“Having reviewed these evidentiary materials, the Court finds that the central and genuine dispute remains,” U.S. District Court judge William Martinez writes in this document.

“Certain witnesses’ testimony tends to corroborate Swift’s version of events, and Mueller points to other evidence that he argues shows inconsistencies in Swift’s story. None of this changes the reality that if a jury accepts Mueller’s version of the facts, then it must substantially reject Swift’s version, and vice versa. In ruling on summary judgment, it is not the Court’s role to resolve this dispute.”

It was reported last month that Taylor Swift has called on a University professor and gender studies teacher as an expert witness in the upcoming trial.

Swift has commissioned Lorraine Bayard de Volo – who teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder – to analyse whether Mueller’s “behaviour is consistent with perpetrators of sexual assault”.

In her report, de Volo argues that Mueller’s “masculine status” had been challenged due to being treated as a fan at the meet-and-greet rather than as a VIP. “This perfect storm of threats to Mr. Mueller’s perceived status is consistent with the well-settled, academically-accepted, perceived threats to status that motivate a man to commit sexual harassment or assault,” de Volo adds.

Mueller’s attorney Gabriel McFarland has filed a motion to exclude de Volo’s testimony, saying: “She has never before served as an expert witness, and apparently has no training in psychology. Nonetheless, according to Ms Bayard de Volo’s written report, she intends to opine that Mr Mueller had the profile of a person likely to sexually assault women.”