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Taylor Swift Refused To Be Victim Blamed at her Sexual Assault Trial

Allie Gemmill is an avid writer, cinephile, Ravenclaw, and pizza enthusiast. She regularly writes on film and television with a special focus on women’s involvement & influence in Hollywood. Additionally, she has bylines at Bustle, Keyfr...

Taylor Swift hired a gender studies professor to support her claims of a 2013 sexual assault

Updated Aug. 11, 7 a.m. PT: Taylor Swift delivered a powerful testimony in court Thursday in her case against a Denver DJ who she claims sexually assaulted her at a meet and greet with fans.

David Mueller "grabbed my ass underneath my skirt," Swift told the jury, adding that he "stayed latched on to my bare ass cheek as I moved away from him, visibly uncomfortable."

"It was horrifying, shocking," she continued. "He had a handful of my ass. I know it was him. I thought what he did was despicable."

Swift is suing Mueller for only $1, hoping her case makes a point that victims of sexual assault should be believed and empowered to report their attackers. On the stand, Mueller's attorneys attempted to victim blame her, asking how she felt when Mueller was fired from his job after she contacted his bosses about the alleged assault.

"I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault, because it isn’t," she said. "I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions and not mine."

Mueller's attorneys also asked Swift why her bodyguards didn't intervene, further trying to place blame on anyone but Mueller, who allegedly did the actual assaulting.

"I’m critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my ass," she answered.

This is the first time the details of Swift's assault have been made public since it occurred four years ago.

Updated Aug. 7, 1 p.m. PT: Four years after she initially accused DJ David Mueller of groping her backstage at one of her concerts, Taylor Swift is finally expected to take the stand to testify against him today, Refinery 29 reports.

Swift filed a civil case against Mueller for sexual assault in 2013, seeking $1 in damages and saying she hopes her case is "serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts." She filed after Mueller filed a $3 million defamation suit against her following the alleged groping incident, saying Swift should have gone to the police instead of his bosses. Swift has maintained that she didn't file a police report for privacy reasons — instead, she had a member of her team reach out to Mueller's boss at 98.5 KYGO radio, and he was subsequently fired.

Swift's mother and other members of her team are also expected to testify.

Original story:

Taylor Swift is not mucking around when it comes to her ongoing legal issues surrounding her alleged sexual assault at one of her concerts in 2013. In the original case, Swift alleged that David Mueller inappropriately touched her backside while they posed with Mueller's girlfriend for a photo at one of Swift's shows. Swift has been for the most part quietly battling Mueller in court over the alleged assault.

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Now, Swift has hired a gender studies professor in her ongoing sexual assault case against the DJ. It would appear that in order for Swift to strengthen her case against him, she has brought on University of Colorado gender studies professor Lorraine Bayard de Volo to act in a capacity akin to an expert witness on Swift's behalf. There was no public statement given about where the court proceedings stood that would have pushed Swift's legal team to bring de Volo on board. However, one might imagine that there may be significant pushback from Mueller about the nature of the alleged assault, so there was a need to concretely explain what made Mueller's alleged initial actions against Swift so egregious.

More: Now Taylor Swift's Written Something About Ed Sheeran

Submitted to the court, de Volo has detailed her own beliefs on why Mueller may have possibly put his hand up Swift's skirt while she was posing for a photo with him. According to Jezebel, de Volo's testimony in Swift's favor goes as such: "In Mr. Mueller’s description of the events, though Ms. Swift was cold and standoffish with him, she had a positive rapport with Ms. Melcher [Mueller's then-girlfriend] that included hugging and compliments. Mr. Mueller said that he felt 'invisible' in the shadow of his girlfriend... Given that idealized masculinity entails dominance, leadership, authority, and assertiveness, this encounter would register as a blow to his sense of masculinity."

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It sounds like Swift might be able to nudge favor in her direction with this new and certifiably sound argument submitted to the courts in her favor. The argument, based on fragile masculinity as a reason for Mueller's alleged sexual assault, is definitely a damning one. Apparently, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Mueller's legal team is attempting to bar this testimony from being used in the upcoming court date because de Volo appears to have "never served as an expert witness, and apparently has no training in psychology." Swift's attorneys have not commented about Mueller's attempts to block de Volo's testimony.

Let's hope that this new expert can help Swift find some resolution in this imaginably difficult matter.

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