Judge tosses ra­dio DJ's claim that Tay­lor Swift got him fired

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

AUS judge on Fri­day dis­missed claims that pop su­per­star Tay­lor Swift got a ra­dio DJ fired, but court pro­ceed­ings will con­tinue to con­sider the singer's al­le­ga­tions that he sex­u­ally as­saulted her. David Mueller has ac­cused Swift of slan­der­ing him to his ra­dio sta­tion, al­leg­ing her com­plaint led to his un­fair dis­missal. Swift is counter-su­ing Mueller in the civil case, al­leg­ing he groped her dur­ing a 2013 "meet and greet" ses­sion with fans and in­vited guests be­fore a con­cert.

US District Judge Wil­liam Martinez agreed with Swift's at­tor­ney, who had filed a mo­tion ask­ing for the pop star to be dropped from Mueller's law­suit, say­ing his case should have been against his ra­dio sta­tion. "I agree his real prob­lem is with the ra­dio sta­tion," Martinez said. Swift was very happy to hear the judge's rul­ing, hug­ging mem­bers of her le­gal team.

Martinez said the eight-per­son jury will make a de­ci­sion on Swift's claim that she was groped. The panel will also con­sider al­le­ga­tions from Mueller that Swift's mother and her ra­dio man­ager con­trib­uted to him los­ing his job. Swift's at­tor­ney Doug Baldridge had ar­gued there was no ev­i­dence the singer her­self took any ac­tion that harmed Mueller. "A man grabbed her rear end. She told her mother, and that's it," Baldridge said.

The singer's mother, An­drea Swift, and Frank Bell, her ra­dio man­ager who con­tacted the sta­tion about the in­ci­dent, work for Swift's man­age­ment com­pany, 13 Man­age­ment LLC. The man­age­ment com­pany was not named in Mueller's law­suit. Ear­lier Fri­day, Swift's former body­guard tes­ti­fied that he wit­nessed the pop star's skirt be­ing flipped up as she posed for a photo with Mueller and his girl­friend.

"When he went to put his arm be­hind her, I saw her skirt go up and his hand went un­der there," Greg Dent said. "I knew she was un­com­fort­able. I saw her push her skirt down and move away," to­wards Mueller's girl­friend, who was stand­ing on Swift's other side. Mueller's lawyer Gabriel McFar­land re­peat­edly pressed Dent on why he didn't step in.

But Dent, who worked as Swift's body­guard for five years, ex­plained that he fol­lowed the singer's di­rec­tion as she con­tin­ued with the photo ses­sion. Swift, who took the stand on Thurs­day, tes­ti­fied that Mueller "stayed latched on to my bare ass cheek as I lurched away from him." Swift's as­sis­tants tes­ti­fied in de­po­si­tions that as soon as the photo ses­sion ended, the singer told ev­ery­one in the room about the in­ci­dent.

Dent, who stopped work­ing with Swift after the 2013 tour, said the singer of­ten al­lowed ap­pro­pri­ate con­tact with fans in such meet-and-greet ses­sions, adding that he felt "she was far too friendly." Mueller was fired by ra­dio sta­tion KXGO two days after the 2013 in­ci­dent and has been un­able to find a job since. He was seek­ing $3 mil­lion in lost wages and fu­ture in­come from Swift. Swift has said she will do­nate any dam­ages awarded in her suit to char­i­ties that fight sex­ual as­sault on women. Clos­ing ar­gu­ments are ex­pected Mon­day. — AFP

— AFP

This file photo shows singer-song­writer Tay­lor Swift performing her only full con­cert of 2016 dur­ing the For­mula 1 United States Grand Prix at Cir­cuit of The Amer­i­cas in Austin, Texas.

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