In 2013, she was groped by Colorado radio DJ David Mueller. After Swift complained, Mueller was sacked, but he then retaliated and sued Swift for damages, asking for millions of dollars in retribution. When 27-year-old Swift countersued for a symbolic dollar, the court case became one of the most watched of the year.
Time magazine announced its "Person of the Year" on the Today show Wednesday morning, naming "The Silence Breakers", the group of women and men who came forward to tell stories of sexual harassment and assault. When asked why the pictures taken during the assault didn't show the front of her skirt wrinkled as evidence of any wrongdoing, she said simply, "Because my ass is located at the back of my body". She reported it, Mueller was sacked, then he sued Swift for defamation. A federal jury in Denver ruled for Swift.
Now, please allow me to put in my own two cents for just a moment. The pop star said she chatted with Kesha, a musician who's had a long legal battle with alleged abuser Dr. Luke, about her situation, and it "really helped to talk to someone who had been through the demoralizing court process", Swift said.
As for the future, Swift feels strongly that the moment we're in, while important, isn't over yet. Swift responded to questions about her experience from TIME in writing. "I figured that if [Mueller] would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance", she said.
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On Tuesday night's (Dec. 5) episode of The Good Doctor, one of the female surgical residents was sexually harassed by an attending physician - he was asking her out for drinks and then bragging about his massage and omelet-making skills - and she knew she'd be blamed if she went over his head to report him. Two years later, he sued her as a result. The details were all skewed, as they often are.
"In that moment, I made a decision to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened", she continued. "This man hadn't considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn't hold back on my mom-why should I be polite?" she explained. But on August 14, a jury ruled against him and ordered him to pay the $1 Swift had sought as a symbolic penalty.
Taylor Swift has spoken out to offer support and advice to any of her fans that may also have been victims of sexual assault or harassment. He was sacked from country radio station KYGO days after Swift's management team reported what happened. "You could be blamed for the fact that it happened, for reporting it and blamed for how you reacted", she said. You don't have to like Taylor Swift, but you do need to respect what she did, what that means to women, and that she too has a place in the #MeToo movement. She broke her silence in more ways than one and for that, we applaud her.