Taylor Swift groping case: Live updates from Day 3 in Denver federal court

Posted at 11:24 AM, Aug 09, 2017

DENVER – The third day of the trial between Taylor Swift and a former Denver radio DJ accused of groping her at a photo shoot in June 2013 is underway in Denver Wednesday. On Tuesday, the former KYGO DJ, David Mueller, took the stand after a jury panel of six women and two men was seated.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day. Refresh the page for latest updates. (All times Mountain):

2:07 p.m.

“I knew what happened. I heard it from her. I heard it from my daughter’s mouth. I know what happened. He sexually assaulted her, that guy,” Andrea Swift says.

Greg Dent, Swift’s personal bodyguard, was in room when photo was taken. Andrea Swift says Dent is a “terrific” bodyguard.

McFarland asks why she wasn’t concerned about Dent not doing anything after the alleged touching, and she says that she couldn’t expect Dent to be blamed for a quick movement by Mueller.

McFarland is shut down by the judge when trying to ask about whether Andrea Swift’s son would ever touch a woman inappropriately.

Andrea swift says Stephanie Simbeck, an assistant in the photo booth, told her, “I knew exactly when it happened. I knew he grabbed her.”


2:04 p.m.

“We felt it was imperative that we let [Mueller’s] employers know what happened,” Andrea Swift says.

“I did not want this event to define her life,” she says. “I did not want every interview from that moment on to have to make her talk about what happened to her. I did not want her to have to life through the endless memes and gifs that tabloid media and internet trolls decided to come up with—doctoring the pictures…and making her relive this awful moment over and over again. We absolutely wanted to keep this private, but we didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

She says they “contemplated” contacting police.

“It was the workplace. We wanted to see what happened after this. We weren’t going to stop,” Andrea says.

She says after the show, she told Taylor that Mueller would not be in the building or able to “stare at her after what he had just done to her.”

But she said Taylor would have to pull herself together and focus for a show—explains what a stage setup is like and how there are trapdoors.

“I didn’t consult with her a great deal before the show…because she wanted to play the show,” Andrea says.


1:58 p.m.

Andrea Swift did not attend the meet-and-greet, nor was she in photo booth when photo of Mueller and Taylor was taken. She did not witness her daughter being touched, but says Taylor told her.

“I was very upset. That’s different than angry,” Andrea Swift says.

“I was upset to the extent of feeling like I wanted to vomit and cry at the same time,” she adds.

Far more upset and trying to be attentive to my daughter than angry.

She says she consulted with Frank Bell and Taylor, and somehow learned that Mueller was associated by Frank Bell, though she says she does not recall whether Bell told her Mueller was an employee there.

But McFarland notes that in June 2016 deposition that she said she “believed” she learned about Mueller’s employer from Frank Bell, and that she has no reason to think otherwise right now.

This meeting happened prior to the concert. Andrea Swift says she learned during the concert Mueller had been escorted from the building. She and team met again after concert to discuss Mueller, among other things.

They decided “as a group,” Andrea says that it was “important for [Mueller’s] employers to understand what took place and important that this not happen to another woman.”

She’s asked why she didn’t call police.

“This had never happened before. It was unconceivable to us how this took place and where it took place. It was shocking,” she said. “We didn’t know what to do. Everything came up.”


1:50 p.m.

Mueller is off the stand. His counsel calls Andrea Swift to the stand -- Taylor's mother.

The onset of her testimony begins with a spat over the words "formally" versus "formerly" regarding who her employer is in regards to a June 2016 deposition.


1:49 p.m.

Baldridge is allowed to re-cross Mueller. He asks Mueller about expert witness testimony submitted in the case, which Mueller says he wasn’t happy with and was unaware his lawyer had submitted in the case.

He also presses Mueller on how much he had drank that night: “Sir, you drank a lot that night, didn’t you?” Mueller says: “I didn’t drink anything that night.”

Baldridge has Mueller reiterate that his hand was not behind Swift’s waist when the photo was taken, and that many of the others who had photos taken were young girls and women.


1:39 p.m.

Mueller is back on the stand after lunch.

He’s being questioned by his own lawyer about what happened after he was fired from KYGO. He says people starting contacting him and asking why he wasn’t on air, and he started contacting some of his close friends and family members, some of whom also worked in radio, telling them about what had happened.

He says he told those people that he had been accused of sexual harassment by a woman at a concert.

His attorney then asks if he is indeed seeking $3 million in damages, as Swift’s attorney claims. He refutes that, saying he’s seeking only what a jury might reward and again claiming he’s only trying to clear his name.

“It’s the only chance I have of working in radio again,” Mueller says.

12:13 p.m.

Mueller is back to being questioned by his attorney, M. Gabriel McFarland.

“Do you know where your hand was not,” McFarland asks him. “It was not on Ms. Taylor Swift’s rear end,” Mueller replied.

The notorious photo is again brought up, and Mueller says it was difficult for him to move his hand high enough on her back because he’d brushed her ribs already.

He said he was several feet away when he started moving in for the photo and decided it would be a good idea to close his fist so he didn’t “poke” her.


12:03 p.m.

Baldridge has Mueller acknowledge he told approximately 37 people in the radio industry about the allegations between him and Swift and his firing from KYGO, tries to get Mueller to admit that Swift and her team didn’t hurt his future employment because they didn’t make it public. Here’s the exchange:

Baldridge: “Is it possible that you rendered yourself unemployable by talking about the incident in the radio industry?

Mueller: “It’s possible that people working in the radio community heard about it through me telling someone.”

Baldridge: “So you sir may have rendered yourself unemployable in the radio industry, correct?”

Mueller: “I can’t go that far.”

Baldridge: “It’s possible isn’t it?”

Mueller: “Can I ask you a question?”

Baldridge: “No it doesn’t work that way, I’m sorry.”

Baldridge: “Is it possible that you rendered yourself unemployable by talking about the incident in the radio industry?”

Mueller: “I don’t think I can answer that question yes or no.”

Baldridge: “OK, fair enough.”

After that exchange, Baldridge starts questioning Mueller about how his job search has gone since he was fired from KYGO.

Mueller admits he has never filled out an application for a job outside of the radio industry, though he says he had sought jobs.

He says he was trying to “create a new occupation” for himself—something to do with radio, but behind the scenes and under the radar, he says.

But he admits he’s only sought on-air personality jobs in top 20 markets, though there are at least 180 other markets he could have been trying to get a job in, Baldridge says.

Mueller says a friend at another market said it “would be difficult” for him to get a job until he got “the legal thing” behind him.

He also admits that there was talk of him being a candidate for a promotions job in Philadelphia, but he never applied. He also heard of a “possible job” from his talent agent in Atlanta.

11:36 a.m.

Baldridge pressing Mueller on what led to his firing.

He brings up KYGO general manager Bob Call’s deposition, in which Call alleged that Mueller had changed his story in their meeting together, which happened the day after the alleged groping.

Mueller says he is unaware of whether Swift, her mother Andrea, or anyone else on the team—aside from Frank Bell—ever contacted KYGO.

Baldridge then goes into the potential damages discussed in the case, and discusses Mueller’s final paycheck. He says Mueller was wrong Tuesday when he said that Baldridge’s claim that he was seeking 15 times the amount of his salary was incorrect.

After confusion on Mueller’s behalf, Baldridge moves on.


11:23 a.m.

Baldridge is now telling Mueller about workplace sexual harassment, and how it often isn’t first reported to police. Mueller agrees that he was on a work function, and that Swift was also working at the time.

Baldridge explains why perhaps the Swift team didn’t want to get the police involved in the alleged groping, saying that making the allegation would put everything in the public spotlight.

He says that by filing charges, both the allegation against Mueller and Swift’s actions would be made public and reported by the media.


11:19 a.m.

Baldridge asks why Mueller was not more cautious with his hand placement when getting together with Swift for the photo. He says he “didn’t want to hurt” Swift when sliding his fist across her back.

Baldridge brings up other photos from that night with Swift and other fans.

“You’ve seen other photos…no one else had their photos near her rear end,” Baldridge says.

“That’s a man right? … Do you see his arm is above her rear end? Doesn’t that seem more appropriate,” Baldridge asks Mueller. He agrees.

“Is it possible someone could see your photo with Ms. Swift and reach the conclusion she was trying to get away from you,” he asks Mueller. Mueller says that is possible.

He asks Mueller about testimony that Mueller had told a Swift security guard to call the police when that was threatened, and is asked why he never called the police himself, though he could have.

Mueller acknowledges he could have indeed called the police on his own.


11:08 a.m.

Baldridge gets Mueller to admit that he didn’t know where his hand was when the photo was taken. Mueller says he was looking ahead at the camera the entire time while he and Swift were “jostling” arms.

“I know I touched her rib cage ... I know [my hand] went behind her,” Mueller said. “If anyone touched her rear, she’d have a right to not like that.”

Baldridge then goes into the drink Mueller’s girlfriend, Melcher, got him.

Baldridge brings up a deposition from staffers who were in the room, and former NSA staffer Greg Dent, who all alleged that Baldridge was drunk when he got into the room to take the photo.

Mueller describes the photo as “awkward,” and says it’s fair that his general manager at KYGO, Bob Call, could consider it “weird and awkward” as well.


10:57 a.m.

Baldridge introduces a new piece of evidence, a photo of Eddie Haskell and Taylor Swift taken before the June 2, 2013 Denver show, and asks Mueller to confirm that it is Haskell in the photo. He does.

Baldridge then asks Mueller if he can see that Haskell's fist is above Swift's waist in the photo, which is indeed the case, and which Mueller also confirms.

Mueller has alleged that Haskell had told him he was the one who groped Swift.

Baldridge then brings back up the photo of Mueller, his girlfriend Shannon Melcher, and Swift. Baldridge goes back into line of questioning Mueller about his hand placement during the photo.

He goes back after Mueller's claim that his knuckles had brushed Swift's ribs, and asks Mueller to recount the "jostling" that took place as they got together during the photo.

Mueller continues to claim it was a "quick slide in" to get the photo and that he didn't touch Swift's bare bottom. Baldridge is contending the photo doesn't make clear the position of Mueller's hand, but says it's clear his hand is behind Swift's bottom.

Mueller continues to claim his palm was down at the time of the photo.


10:52 a.m.

Baldridge is back to cross-examining Mueller, and is asking about why Mueller's allegations that he brought up Tuesday about Eddie Haskell saying he had touched Swift's bottom and a comment about bike shorts was never included in the draft lawsuits sent to Baldridge.

Mueller says he believes one of many draft lawsuits contained that information, but Baldridge pushes back, saying none exist.

"I accept that," Mueller says.


10:49 a.m.

The attorneys for both parties are now in another private sidebar conference that was called for in the middle of cross-examination on Mueller. Microphones in the court are turned off during these conferences, so it's unclear what is being discussed.


10:39 a.m.

Taylor Swift's attorney, J. Doug Baldridge, is back to cross-examining David Mueller this morning, continuing from yesterday. 

Baldridge is asking Mueller about testimony from Swift's team who were in the photo both with the two on June 2, 2013, in which several people said they had either seen Mueller lift Swift's skirt or heard her talking about it directly afterward.

One of the assistants said Swift told them shortly after the photo with Mueller was taken: "Dude, that guy just grabbed my ass."

Others testified in prior depositions that they had never seen Swift react to a photo-shoot in that way.

Mueller acknowledges that all of these things were said in prior depositions.


10:34 a.m.

Court has resumed for the day. The attorneys are currently at the bench. Swift, her mother and attorneys are back in court today.


10:11 a.m.

The court public information officer just came back into the press room and told reporters that court will be back in session at 10:30 a.m. -- in 20 minutes.


10:09 a.m.

After more than an hour of a closed conference between the attorneys and Judge Martinez, some of the parties have entered the courtroom again. Judge Martinez is not back at the bench yet, however.


9:38 a.m.

Follow along with Denver-based KMGH reporter Blair Miller on Twitter, who is in court for the trial.

Tweets by blairmiller


9:09 a.m.

Day 3 of the trial is underway with a closed sidebar conference with attorneys from both sides and Judge Martinez. It’s unclear at this point what exactly the teams are discussing.

The court public information officer says these conferences are usually held to introduce evidence or discuss procedure, but there's also a possibility that settlements come out of these discussions in some cases.

Read our Day 2 wrap here. Read the full Day 2 live blog here.