Singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Friday won an important ruling in the trial stemming from her allegation that she was groped by a Colorado disc jockey.
The judge dismissed the DJ’s rival claim accusing the singer of wrongfully getting him fired.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Martinez left intact Swift’s assault and battery countersuit against David Mueller, who asserts he was falsely accused by the recording star and ousted from his $150,000-a-year job at radio station KYGO-FM under pressure from her.
Friday’s decision capped the fifth day of a trial highlighted by vivid testimony from Swift charging that Mueller clutched her bare buttocks during a pre-concert fan reception in 2013 against Mueller’s assertion under oath that he did no such thing.
The judge had tossed out Mueller’s defamation-of-character claim against Swift before the trial, ruling that the former Denver DJ had waited too long to file suit under the statute of limitations.
Swift’s former bodyguard testified that he saw the radio personality slip his hand under the singer’s skirt as they posed together for a photo with Mueller’s then-girlfriend.
Lawyers for both sides rested their respective cases after the ex-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, took the stand as the final witness to deny seeing Mueller inappropriately touch Swift during the picture-taking session. But she added, “I don’t have eyes in the back of my head.”
Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, asked the judge to throw out Mueller’s two remaining legal claims in the trial – disruption of his $150,000-a-year employment contract and interference with his future earnings.
The Grammy-winning artist was the undisputed star witness of her own trial, giving an unflinching account of the incident in question on Thursday.
“Your client grabbed my ass,” she told Mueller’s lawyer, Gabriel McFarland. “He stayed latched onto my bare ass cheek. I felt him grab onto my ass cheek under my skirt.”
The jury is due to return on Monday for closing arguments in the case.