Taylor Swift told the court she was “absolutely certain” of being groped by a Colorado radio DJ when the trial began on Tuesday.
The pop star has accused broadcaster David Mueller of slipping his hand under her dress at a meet and greet in 2013.
Mueller is seeking $3 million in damages, saying his reputation is ruined and the allegation cost him his $150,000 a year job with country station KYGO-FM.
Swift has countersued Mueller, claiming sexual assault. She’s seeking just $1, as she wants to serve as an example to other assault victims.
According to Mueller, Swift offered to pose for a photograph with him and his then girlfriend. He then said: “My hand came into contact with part of her body.”
“I felt what appeared to be a ribcage or rib.”
After Mueller left, Swift reported the alleged assult to her security team, who then kicked Mueller out of the venue and informed his manager.
Several days later, he was fired by KYGO-FM because of the accusation.
Swift’s attorneys have claimed the image “damning” proof, but because the photograph doesn’t actually show Mueller groping Swift, legal experts say the case will rely heavily on credibility.
Mueller’s lawyer, Gabriel McFarland, argued that the image showed that Mueller’s hand wasn’t underneath the pop star’s skirt and that her skirt wasn’t “rumpled in any fashion.”
Macfarland told the court:
“I don’t know what kind of person would do that. There were 10 people in the room and not one of them said they saw anything.”
The singer has argued she has no motivation to make up the allegation, and is fighting Mueller in court “symbolically” to “serve as an example”.
During his testimony, Mueller denied the assault, instead accusing his ex-boss, KYGO Program Director Eddie Haskell, of being the one to grope Swift.
Mueller claims he ran into Haskell as he was leaving the venue, who allegedly said that he put his hand on Swift’s backside.
The court also heard that five electronic devices containing a recording of his conversation with Mueller’s superiors regarding Swift’s allegation had all mysteriously ceased to function or disappear.
Mueller spilled coffee on a laptop, his IPhone stopped working, and he misplaced an external hard drive, but Mueller told the court their potential as evidence never struck him as an issue.
“To be perfectly frank, I was never told that these items were evidence,” he said. “I wasn’t aware that these things would all be considered evidence.”
On the accusation’s credibility, Swift’s attorney, Douglas Baldridge said:
“What is at stake is, will this man be able to stifle a young woman’s ability to report a sexual assault?” Baldridge said at trial.
“If this person cannot stand up and serve as an example to other young women who have been sexually assaulted, then who can?”
A jury of two men and six women will decide a verdict over the coming weeks.