Since winning her sexual assault case in August, Taylor Swift has been pretty tight-lipped about the whole ordeal. She successfully won $1 in damages from former radio DJ David Mueller, who groped her during a meet and greet in 2013 — a symbolic gesture for women everywhere who face sexual harassment and assault like Swift did.
Now, as she’s featured on the cover of Time magazine’s Person of the Year issue as one of The Silence Breakers, Swift is finally speaking out about the trial.
“I was angry,” Swift said, then added about her blunt testimony that ultimately went viral, “Why should I be polite?”
“In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened,” she continued. “This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me.”
Swift’s lawsuit was actually a countersuit. Her accusation that Mueller had assaulted her resulted in his firing, and he sued her first for defamation. That lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, and Swift won hers. However, Mueller still hasn’t acknowledged her victory.
“To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself,” she said. Swift, meanwhile, has donated her own money to charities that support sexual assault victims, including Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation.
Swift has always been open about the suit, with its $1 in requested damages, being symbolic. As she told Time, her fight against Mueller was ultimately “to serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”
Swift is only one of the many Silence Breakers featured by Time. She shares the cover with former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, who unveiled a culture of unaddressed sexual harassment within the company, as well as Ashley Judd, one of the first actors to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, who has left Hollywood in disgrace after his decades of sexual assault and misconduct against women were uncovered.