Den­ver jury hears 2 dif­fer­ing tales of man

Mueller de­scribed as pas­sion­ate, bent on re­venge

The Denver Post - - NEWS - The Den­ver Post By Danika Wor­thing­ton and Tom McGhee

A U.S. Dis­trict Court jury heard two dif­fer­ent men de­scribed dur­ing open­ing state­ments on Tues­day. Although, tech­ni­cally speak­ing, both men were David Mueller.

Gabe Mc­Far­land painted his client, Mueller, as a man pas­sion­ate about ra­dio, in love with his girl­friend and work­ing his dream job, not as some­one who would grope Tay­lor Swift dur­ing a meet-and-greet ahead of a 2013 con­cert at the Pepsi Cen­ter in Den­ver.

But Swift’s at­tor­ney Dou­glas Baldridge de­scribed the for­mer ra­dio host, who was fired from coun­try ra­dio sta­tion KYGO af­ter the al­leged as­sault, as some­one with a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter. He ques­tioned his mo­tives, de­scrib­ing him as a guy af­ter money, at­ten­tion and re­venge on his em­ployer. He ac­cused Mueller of changing his story seven times.

The al­leged grop­ing came to light in 2015, when the for­mer ra­dio host filed a suit claim­ing Swift, her mother and her ra­dio pro­mo­tions man­ager made false al­le­ga­tions that got him fired. Swift filed a coun­ter­claim, al­leg­ing as­sault and bat­tery.

And then the man in ques­tion, Mueller, took the wit­ness stand in the sec­ond day of the civil law­suit be­tween Mueller and Swift.

As Mueller tells the story, he and his girl­friend waited in line for a photo with Tay­lor Swift dur­ing a meet-and-greet as part of his job. The ra­dio host said he liked the singer’s mu­sic but wasn’t a fan.

When they met Swift, she seemed en­tirely fo­cused on his girl­friend, ig­nor­ing Mueller, he tes­ti­fied. Then, sud­denly, she an­nounced that they should take the photo and she moved to­ward his girl­friend.

Mueller said he had to jump into the photo at the last sec­ond. His and Swift’s arm’s “jos­tled” at

first, and then Mueller put his out­stretched and closed fisted hand be­hind the singer, per­haps touch­ing her rib cage but not her bot­tom, he tes­ti­fied.

Af­ter the photo, the cou­ple went sep­a­rate ways so she could get drinks and he could put signed pho­tos of Swift in his car. Dur­ing this time, he tes­ti­fied that he ran into his boss, Her­shel Coomer.

Mueller said he was later con­fronted by se­cu­rity but did not know what was go­ing on. He was es­corted out of the Pepsi Cen­ter. Swift’s ra­dio pro­mo­tions man­ager Frank Bell called KYGO man­age­ment to in­form them of the in­ci­dent, say­ing the fam­ily was very up­set and hoped the sta­tion would do the right thing.

The sta­tion con­ducted its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion, talk­ing to Mueller and look­ing at the pho­to­graph. Mueller was fired two days later.

The for­mer ra­dio host said he has ap­plied to two dozen jobs but had not got­ten any of­fers. He said he was pur­su­ing this case to clear his name.

And then Baldridge be­gan to cross-ex­am­ine Mueller, drilling into el­e­ments of the ex-DJ’s story and his mo­tives.

Baldridge ques­tioned the ra­dio host on why he did not sue his for­mer em­ployer. If he wanted to clear his name, Baldridge asked, why did he sue, mak­ing the al­le­ga­tions pub­lic?

De­spite tes­ti­fy­ing that he wasn’t seek­ing a spe­cific amount of dam­ages, Baldridge pointed out the de­po­si­tion of Mueller’s ex­pert wit­nesses on lost in­come. The wit­ness had said Mueller sought nearly $3 mil­lion.

“Is $3 mil­lion enough to clear your name?” he asked.

He also ex­plored Mueller’s trou­bled work re­la­tion­ship with Haskell and how his job ap­peared to be threat­ened be­fore the in­ci­dent.

Mueller had recorded up to 2 hours of a con­ver­sa­tion he had with his em­ploy­ers be­fore he was fired. He had sent pieces of the in­ter­view to his lawyer with a total of nearly 15 min­utes be­ing sub­mit­ted to the court.

But Mueller lost the full record­ing when five elec­tronic de­vices that con­tained the file were de­stroyed in sep­a­rate in­ci­dents, he said, in­clud­ing spilling coffee on a lap­top com­puter and shat­ter­ing an iPad.

The trial re­sumes Wed­nes­day with Mueller still on the stand.

RJ San­gosti, The Den­ver Post

Fans line up Tues­day to go in­side the court­room at the Al­fred A. Ar­raj Court­house in Den­ver. It is the sec­ond day in the trial of Tay­lor Swift against a Colorado ra­dio per­son­al­ity, David Mueller, over al­le­ga­tions that the for­mer disc jockey fon­dled her four years ago.

Jeff Kandyba via The Associated Press

In a court­room sketch, singer Tay­lor Swift and a de­fense at­tor­ney look on as for­mer ra­dio host David Mueller, back­ground right, speaks dur­ing a civil trial in fed­eral court in Den­ver on Tues­day. Swift al­leges that Mueller touched her dur­ing a con­cert meet-and-greet in 2013.

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