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United States

Taylor Swift’s lawyer accuses DJ of seeking money and fame by targeting her with lawsuit

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 3:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 4:50am

Taylor Swift’s attorney accused a Colorado DJ of seeking money and fame by targeting his client with a lawsuit, as the pop star sat in the Denver courtroom watching the proceedings.

Swift, 27, has said that David Mueller, 55, fondled her four years ago during a photo shoot before a concert in Denver.

Mueller sued Swift, claiming she had falsely accused him and cost him his job at Denver radio station KYGO-FM. Swift countersued for assault and battery.

The litigation centres on her allegations that Mueller slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her bare buttocks as the two posed during a meet-and-greet session before a June 2013 concert in Denver.

“It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life,” Swift said in a deposition.

Swift’s attorney, J. Douglas Baldridge, said in US District Court on Tuesday that Mueller committed an assault and that he had told at least six versions of what happened.

“He wants to make the victim pay the price,” Baldridge said of Mueller.

Baldridge said Mueller was seeking 15 times what his contract was worth in damages, while the singer was seeking US$1 on her counterclaim to show women “you can say no.”

Following the opening statements, Mueller, who made US$150,000 a year at the radio station, denied in his testimony that he was seeking that much money. He said he only sued “to clear his name and for lost earnings.”

Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, showed the eight-member jury a picture from the photo shoot and said Mueller’s hand was not under Swift’s skirt.

“Let’s be clear, inappropriate touching is offensive. It’s wrong and it should not be tolerated. Falsely accusing is equally offensive and it’s equally wrong,” he said.

About two dozen fans were in the courtroom, where Swift occasionally whispered to her mother Andrea and lawyers during opening statements.

Three teenaged girls from Denver were first in line to get seats in the courtroom. “It’s better than a concert,” said Dani Kuta, 17, who attended.

With Taylor Swift in court, jury selection proceeds in her groping case against radio DJ

Swift, one of America’s top-selling recording stars, is expected to take the witness stand during the trial.

Mueller sued first, saying Swift fabricated the story and pressured station management to oust him from his job. His case cites tort claims of interference with contractual obligations and prospective business relations.

His lawsuit denies anything inappropriate occurred during the brief backstage encounter in which he and his girlfriend stood on either side of the pop star.

Swift countersued and the two civil complaints were merged for trial. In court filings, Swift said her representatives informed KYGO management about the incident, but she did not demand Mueller be fired.

Swift, one of the most successful contemporary music artists, earned US$170 million between June 2015 and June 2016, following a world tour and her best-selling “1989” album, Forbes Magazine said.