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.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 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.”
The trial is scheduled to begin on August 7.