The courtroom artist who provided the sketches of Taylor Swift in her recent sexual assault trial has responded to criticism from fans over his drawings.
Earlier this week, a jury ruled in favour of Swift in a trial in which she claimed radio DJ David Mueller ‘grabbed her bare ass‘ during a photo shoot.
Filming and photography are illegal in US courtrooms, so news outlets depend on sketch artists to illustrate proceedings. Sketch artist Jeff Kandyba has been the regular courtroom artist for Denver since the 1980s – and has now responded to fans attacking the resemblance of his Swift drawings.
“A person like Taylor Swift, who is very pretty — very perfectly proportioned dimensions on her face — is actually much harder [to sketch],” Kandyba told Westword. “It’s hard. Some people are just much easier to draw than others. If you give me somebody with a beard and glasses, bingo, got it.”
He continued: “I’m probably sitting 35 feet away from her looking through binoculars, and if you’ve ever tried to draw anything looking through binoculars, it’s not the easiest thing in the world. You go more for resemblance, and hopefully you can at least get that.”
David Mueller, formerly a DJ at Denver radio station KYGO, was accused of groping the singer during a meet-and-greet in 2013. He claimed what he calls “false accusations” resulted in him being fired from his position, and sued Swift, her mother Andrea and her radio representative Frank Bell for $3 million (£2.3m). Swift then countersued Mueller.
Swift was awarded one single dollar in compensation, which was described by her lawyers as “symbolic of the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation”.
She also vowed to donate money to charities helping others who had been effected by sexual assault.
“I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this,” she said in a statement. “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”