8 jurors seated to decide Taylor Swift groping case
By TATIANA FLOWERS, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Eight jurors were selected Tuesday to determine whether Taylor Swift was groped by a former radio DJ during a concert meet-and-greet or whether he was unfairly fired after being wrongfully accused by the pop star.
The jurors were quickly picked on the second day of jury selection as both Swift and the DJ, David Mueller, watched in Denver federal court.
Mueller’s back was turned toward Swift just as it was on the opening day of the trial Monday, when a field of 60 people potential jurors were asked about everything from whether they or their relatives had ever been inappropriately touched or wrongfully accused of groping someone to whether, and to what degree, they were fans of Swift.
One man who ultimately was not selected told U.S. District Judge William Martinez on Tuesday that he was not necessarily a fan, “but her music is catchy and it’s good vibes.” The judge laughed and said, “very good.”
Potential jurors were also asked about whether they had seen any photographs related to the case. One photograph obtained by TMZ but sealed by the court shows Mueller with his hand behind Swift, just below her waist, backstage at a 2013 concert in Denver.
Swift claims Mueller grabbed her on the buttock. Her lawyers have called the photo “damning” proof that Mueller groped her.
Mueller denies the allegation and says the photo only shows him trying to jump into the frame. Swift and Mueller are both smiling in the picture.
Mueller claims Swift’s team got him fired from his job by reporting the allegation to his bosses — not the police.
The case is being heard in federal court because Swift and Mueller live in different states — Swift in Nashville, Tennessee, Mueller in Colorado — and damages at stake exceed $75,000.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks. Court documents say it is unlikely that either side will settle.
Swift is seeking a verdict that awards her $1 to hold Mueller responsible and serve “as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” her lawsuit says.
Swift and Mueller are both expected to testify, along with Mueller’s former boss and members of Swift’s entourage.
About a dozen fans lined up outside the courthouse, including three high school students who showed up before dawn, for a pass allowing them inside to watch the trial.
“I love how she’s suing him for $1 because she doesn’t need the money but she wants to make it a point that women don’t need to take this,” said Vega Zaringlee, 12.
Associated Press writer P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.