Denver jury hears 2 differing tales of man
Mueller described as passionate, bent on revenge
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.
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.
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.