On Thursday, US time, Taylor Swift took the stand in a civil trial in Denver. Fronting the federal court jury, the pop star recalled the moment from 2013 in which she claims she was “violated” by radio DJ David Mueller in a way she had “never dealt with before”.
It was “despicable”, she said, and “very shocking”.
The testimony, which was described by present US media as “assertive”, “sharp” and “gutsy”, was the crescendo in a highly reported legal battle between Swift and Mueller, one in which each has sued the other – Mueller seeking millions and Swift to make an example.
Here’s how it all played out:
What are Taylor Swift’s allegations?
The 27-year-old alleges that Mueller, then 51, reached under her skirt and “grabbed” her on the backside while posing for a photograph with her during a backstage meet-and-greet at Denver’s Pepsi Center in June 2013.
According to BuzzFeed News, the pop star reported the incident to her manager and security team that evening, who removed Mueller from the venue and banned him from her concerts for life.
But her team didn’t stop there; they then reported Mueller’s alleged behaviour to his employer, KYGO.
How did it end up in court?
Mueller was subsequently sacked by the station, who reportedly cited a morality clause in his contract after executives determined he had lied about the incident and changed his story during an internal investigation.
The DJ denied any wrongdoing – he has claimed to have only touched her “rib cage”, according to Slate. And so, in 2015 he filed a civil lawsuit, and the legal battle officially began.
It wasn’t just Swift he was aiming for either. Mueller also filed against her mother, Andrea, and her radio promotions director Frank Bell, claiming they all played a role in damaging his reputation and costing him his US$150,000-year job.