Tay­lor Swift is send­ing a needed mes­sage by fight­ing her al­leged groper in court.

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

Tay­lor Swift is do­ing the right thing and not the easy thing in fight­ing a law­suit filed against her by for­mer Boul­der ra­dio talk show host David Mueller.

Not that the in­ter­na­tional su­per­star and em­blem of fe­male em­pow­er­ment needs our sup­port. But as the trial date ap­proaches, we hope she stands by her re­solve to pub­licly fight a man ac­cused of grop­ing her. The why be­hind what she is do­ing is ter­ri­bly im­por­tant.

It’s im­por­tant that her young fe­male fans know it is un­ac­cept­able for men to grab women with­out per­mis­sion — and that such as­sault comes with reper­cus­sions in our so­ci­ety.

Mueller — a pop­u­lar ra­dio host who went by the name Jack­son and whose al­ibi is as shaky as a junkie — is ac­cused of reach­ing up Swift’s skirt and grab­bing her bot­tom at an offstage meet­ing with fans be­fore the singer-song­writer’s June 2, 2013, per­for­mance at the Pepsi Cen­ter. Se­cu­rity re­moved Mueller from the arena af­ter the in­ci­dent, and a few days later Mueller’s bosses at KYGO kicked him out the door.

Two years later, Mueller sued Swift, say­ing he in fact hadn’t groped her and that her false ac­cu­sa­tions cost him his job and fu­ture ca­reer prospects. Cer­tainly it would have been eas­ier for Swift — a very wealthy woman who doesn’t need this kind of pub­lic­ity — to set­tle with Mueller.

But she didn’t.

She counter-sued to try to re­coup her ex­ten­sive le­gal bills and is mount­ing a de­fense that hinges on her testimony, on a photo that is said to have cap­tured the as­sault, and on wit­nesses in the room.

Think about what go­ing to trial on Aug. 7 in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Den­ver will mean for Swift. She will have to re­count ver­sion of events in the same room as Mueller. She will have to make pub­lic an im­age that, as her at­tor­neys ac­knowl­edge, “will be shared for scan­dalous and pruri­ent in­ter­ests.”

Fac­ing all of that, one must ask why Swift hasn’t set­tled.

The an­swer is that she is fight­ing this fight for all women and not just for her­self.

Imag­ine. If it’s this dif­fi­cult for a su­per­star to stand up and fight against a man ac­cused of grop­ing her, how dif­fi­cult must it be for a woman to ac­cuse her boss of as­sault or sex­ual ha­rass­ment? Peo­ple won­der why it took so long for the sex­ual ha­rass­ment oc­cur­ring at Fox News to come to light. Bill O’reilly set­tled law­suits with five women who ac­cused the Fox News host of sex­ual ha­rass­ment. Roger Ailes, the for­mer Fox News chief, also was ac­cused of sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing three women.

And then there’s Don­ald Trump. De­spite a flood of ac­cusers fol­low­ing the “Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood” video cap­tur­ing his bad be­hav­ior, he de­nied every­thing and won the pres­i­dency.

Why, it is al­ways asked, didn’t the women come for­ward sooner? Be­cause it is em­bar­rass­ing and pub­lic and the woman is vil­i­fied even when she’s the vic­tim.

Even Swift ap­peared will­ing to shake off the ugly in­ci­dent with Mueller, never press­ing crim­i­nal charges.

O’reilly said he set­tled the law­suits against him be­cause that’s what a pub­lic fig­ure has to do when these “false” claims are brought for­ward.

Well, Swift is prov­ing that a pub­lic fig­ure doesn’t have to set­tle in a sala­cious case — at least not if she has “never been so cer­tain of any­thing in (her) life.”

We applaud Swift’s courage, and hope that she prevails.

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