Taylor Swift tells court man groped her during photo session
Singer countersuing former DJ David Mueller after he claimed her team got him sacked
Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift claims a man reached under her skirt and intentionally grabbed her bottom while posing for a photograph with him and his girlfriend. File photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images
A sketch of Taylor Swift and her attorneys in Denver Federal Court during the trial. Photograph: Jeff Kandyba/Reuters
“He stayed attached to my bare ass-cheek as I lurched away from him,” the pop star said in federal court in Denver during a trial over the claim.
Despite being stunned, Ms Swift said she did not say anything to David Mueller about it because she did not want other fans lined up to hear anything and she did not want to cancel the event and disappoint them.
Ms Swift said she tried to get as far away from Mr Mueller as she could.
The singer said she told Mr Mueller and his girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, who was also in the photograph, “thank you for coming” in a monotone voice before they left.
Mr Mueller sued Ms Swift and others on her team, claiming they cost him his job, and is seeking up to $3 million(€2.6m) in damages.
The pop star countersued, alleging sexual assault, and is asking for a symbolic one dollar judgment.
Ms Swift said a security guard working for her witnessed the groping.
She said that guard Greg Dent saw Mr Mueller “lift my skirt” and grab her but that it was impossible for anyone to see Mr Mueller’s hand beneath her skirt and on her buttock because they were posing for the photograph with their backs to a wall.
Ms Swift said that someone would have had to have been underneath her to see the actual groping “and we didn’t have anyone positioned there”.
Mr Mueller told the court on Wednesday that the photograph taken before the concert was “weird and awkward”, but he insisted that he touched Ms Swift in the ribs, not on the bottom.
He said his hand was touching Ms Swift’s skirt after he put his arm around her and their arms got crossed, adding: “My hand was at rib-cage level and apparently it went down.”
The case is being tried in federal court under a law allowing the proceeding when the parties live in separate states and the dispute involves a damages claim higher than $75,000.