Saturday 25 November 2017

Taylor Swift security guard says DJ reached under singer's skirt

Taylor Swift claims David Mueller, a former radio host, groped her. (AP)
Taylor Swift claims David Mueller, a former radio host, groped her. (AP)

Taylor Swift's former bodyguard has said he saw a DJ reach under her skirt a moment before a photographer snapped their picture during a meet-and-greet where the singer says the radio host groped her.

Security guard Greg Dent, who no longer works for Swift, said he was standing a few steps away but did not intervene because he generally took his cues from the pop star, and she gave him no signals during the 2013 pre-concert encounter at a Denver arena.

Seated at her legal team's table in a federal courtroom, Swift chuckled when Mr Dent testified that, after the photo was taken, he suspected KYGO-FM host David Mueller would be at the bar of the arena - and another guard found him there.

Mr Dent's account came on the fourth day of testimony in a civil trial over competing lawsuits between Swift and Mueller, who denies groping her and is seeking up to 3 million dollars from the singer-songwriter, her mother and their radio liaison to compensate him for his ruined career.

Swift is counter-suing for just 1 dollar and what she calls a chance to stand up for other women.

A day earlier, she spent an hour on the witness stand herself defiantly recounting what she called a "despicable and horrifying and shocking" encounter.

"He stayed attached to my bare ass-cheek as I lurched away from him," she testified.

"It was a definite grab. A very long grab," she added in her testimony.

Swift's testy exchange with Mueller's attorney occasionally elicited chuckles - even from the six-woman, two-man jury.

She got a laugh when she said the bodyguard saw Mueller "lift my skirt" but someone would have had to have been underneath her to see the actual groping - "and we didn't have anyone positioned there".

Swift said after the photo was taken at the meet-and-greet session, she tried to get as far away from Mr Mueller as she could.

She said she told him and his girlfriend, who was also in the photo, "thank you for coming" in a monotone voice before they left.

She also said she was stunned and did not say anything to Mueller or halt the event after he left because she did not want to disappoint several dozen people waiting in line for photos with her.

In the image, shown to jurors during opening statements but not publicly released, Mr Mueller's hand is behind Swift, just below her waist. Both are smiling.

Photographer Stephanie Simbeck said during Thursday's proceedings she knew something was wrong as she shot the photo.

She testified that Swift later told her what happened, looked at a photo and pointed out Mueller as the person responsible.

The trial is scheduled to last until next Thursday but appeared on Friday to be moving quickly toward closing arguments.

The last witness called by Gabriel McFarland, Mueller's lawyer, was his ex-girlfriend Shannon Melcher.

Ms Melcher said she met the singer along with Mueller at the photo session. She said she saw nothing happen during the brief encounter and she and Mueller were rudely confronted and escorted out of the arena that evening.

She added her ex-boyfriend was devastated by the accusation.

She said they started out as co-workers at radio station KYGO-FM and became romantically involved in February 2013.

They drifted apart late in 2013, but Ms Melchor says they remained friends.

AP

Press Association

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