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