showbiz

I was angry: Taylor Swift talks about sexual assault trial

Taylor Swift has opened up on what powered her sexual assault testimony. — AFP picTaylor Swift has opened up on what powered her sexual assault testimony. — AFP picLOS ANGELES, Dec 7 — Taylor Swift was among a group of individuals honoured by Time magazine yesterday as one of 2017’s “silence breakers” for its Person of the Year cover and she has spoken about her recent groping trial.

In the first interview since the trial, it’s easy to see why Tay Tay was among those honoured by Time as she spoke about how she bravely went to trial on August 10 to face off against radio DJ David Mueller, whom she said groped her in 2013. 

“In 2013, I met a DJ from a prominent country radio station in one of my pre-show meet and greets. When we were posing for the photo, he stuck his hand up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek. I squirmed and lurched sideways to get away from him, but he wouldn’t let go,” Swift recalled.

“At the time, I was headlining a major arena tour and there were a number of people in the room that saw this plus a photo of it happening. I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance. It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know. The radio station conducted its own investigation and fired him. Two years later, he sued me.”

Swift went on to detail how the court proceedings affected her emotions and that of her mother. “When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over insane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying.

“My mum was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand. I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mum — why should I be polite?”

Swift also shares a message for women who may find themselves in a similar situation. “You might be made to feel like you’re overreacting, because society has made this stuff seem so casual. My advice is that you do not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you.

“You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes, 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.” 

MORE ON MMOTV