Updated Aug. 17, 7 a.m. PT: Taylor Swift has kept the promise she made in her statement following her win in her sexual assault case, and donated an “extremely generous” amount to actress Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation, which aids survivors of sexual assault.
“I hope that Taylor’s very public experience — and her decision to speak out — not only helps empower other victims to speak up and take action, but offers them solidarity,” Hargitay said in a statement.
The exact amount of Swift’s donation was not revealed.
Updated Aug. 15, 2017, 8:35 a.m. PT: After four hours of deliberating, a jury unanimously awarded Taylor Swift $1 in her groping trial, saying that DJ David Mueller did sexually assault her four years ago.
Swift’s victory may be monetarily symbolic, but it’s a win for all women who have been victims of sexual assault. In a statement, Swift acknowledged the privilege that allowed her to pursue justice and promised to help other women do the same.
“I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this,” she said. “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
Meanwhile, Mueller has been speaking out about the trial too, still insisting he is innocent.
On Good Morning America, Mueller maintained that he never groped Swift and offered to take a polygraph test. Last week, Mueller’s lawsuit against Swift for wrongful termination and lost wages was thrown out by a judge for lack of evidence.
Taylor Swift is no stranger to making empowering statements, but she is using an unconventional method to send a message this week: a lawsuit. As part of her countersuit against a Denver radio host Swift alleges inappropriately touched her in 2013, the pop star is seeking a symbolic $1.
The alleged incident occurred during a concert meet-and-greet during which the host, David Mueller, reportedly lifted Swift’s skirt and groped her. After Swift came forward about the incident, Mueller was fired from his job at the country music station despite coming forward with his own version of events.
In response, Mueller filed a lawsuit against the singer, saying that she fabricated the story — he is seeking $3 million in damages.
For her part, Swift has never backed down from her story, filing her countersuit to “make an example out of him on behalf of her young fans,” according to Refinery29. Thus, she is asking for only $1 as a gesture of her commitment to seeing justice done.
According to court testimony today, Swift — who was 23 years old at the time — posed for a photo when the alleged groping occurred. Immediately after the photo, she yelled to her team, “Dude, that guy just grabbed my ass.”
TMZ released the photo in question last year, which shows Mueller with his hand below waist level behind Swift.
Also damning, in July, a judge sanctioned Mueller based on some particularly questionable behavior following the incident. Per multiple sources, before the radio host was fired from his job, he destroyed “multiple electronic devices,” including “a cellular phone, laptop, iPad, and computer.”
Those devices in particular were said to possibly contain a lengthy recording with his boss, Robert Call, during which Mueller reportedly discussed changes to his story. Mueller and his legal team claimed the wrecked electronics were the result of an accident (coffee spill!), but U.S. District Judge William Martínez found the actions suspicious enough to warrant the sanction.
“He made the decision — inexplicably, in the court’s view — to alter the original evidence and to present his lawyer with only ‘clips’ hand-picked from the underlying evidence,” Martínez said.
Mueller may be intent on making his case, but Swift is sending a powerful message with her symbolic suit… and it isn’t going unnoticed. The pop star’s young fans lined up outside the courtroom as early as 4 a.m. to try to secure the 32 seats in the court gallery and offer their support.