If you’re a woman and you occasionally like to leave the house, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of unwanted male attention.
And how you respond to creepy behaviour likely depends largely on how you’re feeling that day. We all know that we should call sexual harassment out when it happens, but sometimes we simply don’t have the energy to be furious. It feels easier, somehow, to just take a deep breath and move away; to attempt to rise above it, to put it out of our minds.
But then sometimes someone does something, and something snaps. It could be a stranger groping you on the tube, or a creepy colleague making a sexist comment. Whatever your tipping point is, you suddenly feel the rage begin to broil in the pit of your stomach. “No,” you think. “Enough now. That’s enough.”
Enter Taylor Swift, who reached her own personal tipping point when a man allegedly groped her backstage at one of her concerts.
Details have emerged of a legal case in which Swift is countersuing a man whom she says sexually assaulted her at a meet-and-greet three years ago.
Swift’s security team accused David Mueller, a radio DJ from Denver, of groping her when they met backstage at one of her concerts in 2013. Now, a transcript of a deposition made by Swift in July – in which she describes the groping incident – has been made publicly available by a judge.
“Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek and no matter how much I scooted over it was still there,” Swift said in the deposition.
Mueller was fired from his job at KYGO Radio two days after the alleged incident, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In 2015 – two years after the concert – Mueller sued Swift for slander, saying that he might have touched her “by accident” and that it was actually his former boss who grabbed her.
However, Swift said in her deposition that she does not accept Mueller’s claim that he might have touched her by mistake. “It was completely intentional,” she said. “I've never been so sure of anything in my life.”
Swift also recounted how upset she had been by the alleged incident, in a description that will be familiar to many women.
“I remember being frantic, distressed, feeling violated in a way I had never experienced before,” she said in the deposition. “A meet-and-greet is supposed to be a situation where you’re thanking people for coming, you’re supposed to be welcoming people into your home, which is the arena for that day, and for someone to violate that hospitality in that way, I was completely stunned.”
After Mueller sued Swift for slander, the singer countersued him for assault and battery, saying she would donate any money she won to charitable organizations that work to protect women from sexual assault. The filing of this deposition forms part of her attempt to win the case before it goes to trial.
Swift’s lawyers successfully prevented photos of the alleged groping incident being made public, arguing that it would “be shared for scandalous and prurient interests”.
Images: Rex Features