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Taylor Swift’s Mother Confronts Man She Says Groped the Star

Eight jurors — six women and two men — are deciding the two cases in a trial scheduled to last nine days.


Ms. Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, center, sitting between her daughter, left, and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2010.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Andrea Swift said that she and other members of her daughter’s management team decided to have Mr. Mueller escorted from the Denver concert venue, the Pepsi Center, so “that he would not be able to stare at her during her show after what he had done to her.”

“He sexually assaulted her. Right there. That guy,” she said, referring to Mr. Mueller, who was sitting at a table with his lawyers.

Later, the Swift team informed Mr. Mueller’s employers, she said, but did not call the police because of concern that going public might only lead to cruel internet memes and additional exposure, “making her relive this awful moment over and over.” “We felt it was imperative for his employer to be informed,” she said. “We also felt a responsibility to make sure this not happen to another young woman.”

Mr. Mueller’s team called Ms. Swift’s mother to the stand to demonstrate what role the singer’s management had in the radio station’s decision to fire him. Andrea Swift said that she indeed hoped KYGO would fire Mr. Mueller, but that she did not know what the station would do.

Mr. Mueller repeatedly denied groping Taylor Swift during his testimony, but acknowledged under cross-examination that he had done a lot to spread the star’s allegations. “It’s possible that people working in the radio industry heard about it through me telling people,” he said during his second day on the stand in federal court here. Mr. Mueller said later that he felt obligated to be honest with anyone who might hire him.

Under questioning by Ms. Swift’s lawyer, Douglas Baldridge, Mr. Mueller said he had told 37 people about Ms. Swift’s allegations, among them potential employers and his partner in a programming content company he had helped found.

Asked whether it was possible he had rendered himself unemployable, Mr. Mueller said, “I don’t think I can answer that question yes or no.”

Mr. Baldridge focused on Mr. Mueller’s actions during the photo shoot and afterward. Mr. Mueller was asked why he did not confront a colleague who the former host has implied touched Ms. Swift’s rear or seek help from the police to help clear up the matter. It was the kind of close, challenging questioning about expected behaviors that is sometimes directed at a person pursuing a sexual assault case, but in this instance the person on the stand had been characterized as the inappropriate toucher.

At one point, Mr. Baldridge showed photographs of Ms. Swift posing the same night with fans, pointing out that no one else had a hand near her bottom, as Mr. Mueller’s hand appears to be in his photo with her.

“Do you agree, sir, that you could have put your hand behind Miss Swift’s shoulder?” Mr. Baldridge asked.

“I could have,” Mr. Mueller said.

Also referring to the photo, Mr. Baldridge asked whether his superiors at KYGO might have believed that Ms. Swift was trying to get away from him. “I can see how somebody would conclude that,” Mr. Mueller said.

Ms. Swift, who is scheduled to testify in the case, listened closely and took notes as she sat next to her mother at her lawyers’ table. During the photo encounter, Ms. Swift did not react immediately to what she said was the inappropriate touching, saying later that she was too stunned to say anything.

Andrea Swift testified that her daughter had agonized over her own actions when the photo was being taken, including saying an almost automatic “thank you” to Mr. Mueller and his girlfriend after the photo was shot.

Andrea Swift started to cry. “As a parent,” she said, “I questioned why I taught her to be so polite.”

Andrea Swift also said that she knew the dress her daughter was wearing the night of the photograph and concert and believed from the angle of the hem that the image showed its skirt being lifted in the back.

Andrea Swift said her daughter’s team has tightened security since that Denver concert, allowing fewer people into meet-and-greets and conducting background checks on the people the star encounters.

“It’s absolutely shattered our trust,” Andrea Swift said of the 2013 incident. “It scared us. It scared us really badly.”


A phrase of Taylor Swift’s lyrics made from Post-it Notes is displayed across the street from the federal courthouse in Denver where the lawsuit is being heard.

Theo Stroomer/Getty Images

About two dozen Taylor Swift fans were in the courtroom, and their presence was also evident across the street where a sign in a window read, “Haterz gonna hate,” a reference to a lyric in Ms. Swift’s song “Shake It Off.”

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