One of the world’s biggest pop stars will be in Denver next week … but it won’t be for a concert.
Instead, Taylor Swift will be in a federal court in the culmination of a more than four-year legal drama with a Denver DJ who allegedly groped her.
Don’t expect the courtroom drama to resemble something from “Law and Order,” according to U.S. District Court clerk Jeffrey Colwell. Instead, you’re more likely to hear some nitty, gritty (but not particularly exciting ...) details about contracts and employment law.
With that being said, 32 members of the public can be in the courtroom during what’s expected to be a nine-day trial. Seventy five other people can watch at least part of the action via a video monitor in an overflow room though, unless she’s testifying, Swift likely won't be visible.
The court asked the media to share what the public needs to know if they want to attend the trial.
WHAT THE JUDGE SAYS: Read the full decorum order
THE TRIAL: Read our full write-up on the case here
One big thing to mention? Cellphones and recording devices are not permitted in the courthouse, and you can't wear t-shirts, buttons, or anything else with the pop star's likeness on it.
And leave your signs of support at home – or just wait outside the courthouse in a designated public area.
Here’s what you need to know if you want to go to the Taylor Swift trial:
To understand what happened, you have to go back to June 2, 2013. Swift was headlining her Red tour at the Pepsi Center. The 10-time Grammy winner alleges that during a photo opp with David “Jackson” Mueller, the former KYGO DJ “grabbed [her] bare ass.” Mueller says he was later berated and thrown out by security.
He was fired from the station two days later.
This is where the law got involved. Two years later, Mueller filed a lawsuit against Swift claiming she made a false accusation that caused him to lose his $150,000 a year job. A month later, Swift countersued on claims of assault and battery – and in the two years since, claims the alleged incident caused her to become “shocked and withdrawn.”
Mueller hasn’t said how much of a settlement he wants, only that he’s asking to be compensated for damages and what was left of his contract with KYGO. As for Swift, she says she’ll donate any money won from the lawsuit to “charities dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard.”
WHERE IT’S HAPPENING
Judge William J. Martinez has ordered that both Swift and Mueller be present for the trial, which has been escalated to federal court in Denver.
When: Jury selection begins on Monday at 8:30 a.m. The public and media will not get seats in the courtroom for jury selection, and Swift and Mueller are not required to be in the courthouse until opening statements, which are slated for some time on Tuesday.
The public can line up for passes to get inside the courthouse starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday for the duration of what’s expected to be a nine-day trial. Those passes will be distributed at 7 a.m. During the second half of the day (after a roughly hour-long lunch break), the public can start lining up for passes at 11 a.m., and the passes will be handed out at 12: 30 p.m.
There will be 32 seats for the public inside the courtroom and 75 seats inside the courtroom.
Trial proceedings are expected to start at around 8:45 a.m. and go until 5:15 p.m. with a 75 minute lunch break from around 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks lasting around 20 minutes.
All members of the public must be inside the courtroom by 8:30 a.m.
Where: Courtroom 801 in the Alfred Arraj United States Courthouse at 901 19th St. in Denver.
Things to know: We’ve already covered it, but you can’t have your phone inside the courtroom. This means you should either leave it at home or check it in at the courthouse. And, once you’re seated, you can’t enter or exit the courtroom as you please – instead, you can only move during breaks.
Federal officials will also be very strict about how you behave in the courtroom: this means that calling out to Swift or loudly reacting in any way will put you on the fast-track to getting kicked out.
You also can't have food or drink in the courtroom, though you can bring a water bottle.
Make sure you’re respectful: The Taylor Swift trial isn’t going to be the only thing happening at the courthouse next week … far from it. This means the public who wants to attend her trial is asked to be respectful of everyone else by standing in a designated area outside the courthouse and getting passes to enter.
It’s also worth noting that there’s security to get into the courthouse that’s very similar to airport security, so give yourself extra time and have your government-issued ID ready to go.