DENVER — Taylor Swift’s lawyer on Tuesday suggested the Colorado DJ accused of groping the singer at a 2013 photo shoot in Denver was angry at having to wait in line with Swift’s young fans for the picture-taking session.
David Mueller, who lost his job at Denver radio station KYGO-FM over his encounter with Swift four years ago, insisted under oath at the start of his testimony on Tuesday he was innocent of any inappropriate behavior and a victim of false accusations.
Under cross-examination later in the day, Mueller acknowledged he was not given a VIP pass for a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Swift before her June 2013 Denver concert and instead was forced to stand in line with throngs of pre-teen girls and their mothers.
But Mueller, 55, denied the hour-long wait left him disgruntled at Swift.
He also admitted in response questioning from Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, that he had applied for few radio jobs since his termination by KYGO four years ago. On Tuesday, he testified that Swift’s allegations had “cost me my career, my passion, my income.”
Baldridge sought to cast Mueller as an opportunist who assaulted his client and was now seeking “to make the victim pay the price.”
Mueller initiated the litigation, claiming Swift fabricated the groping story and pressured the radio station to fire him. Swift countersued for assault and battery. The eight-member U.S. District Court jury is now weighing both claims in a single trial.
According to the Grammy-winning artist, Mueller slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her bare buttocks as the two posed, along with Mueller’s girlfriend, during the picture-taking session.
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“It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life,” Swift, 27, said in a deposition. She is expected to take the witness stand later in the trial.
Mueller testified on Tuesday that he may have made incidental physical contact with Swift, perhaps brushing her arm or torso. But asked by his own lawyer whether he had grabbed Swift’s backside, Mueller said flatly, “No, I did not.”
Mueller testified he had no inkling anything was amiss until approached that evening by a member of Swift’s security team who related her allegation to him, threatened to call police and told Mueller he was banned from all future Swift concerts.
Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, said in opening statements on Tuesday that inappropriate touching was “offensive” and “wrong,” adding, “Falsely accusing is equally offensive and it’s equally wrong.”
(Reporting by Keith Coffman and Jann Tracey, writing by Steve; Editing by Michael Perry and Chris Rees