A judge is weighing whether or not he should throw out all or part of a lawsuit filed against Taylor Swift by a former Denver DJ who alleges he was falsely accused of groping her at a meet-and-greet, causing him to lose his $150,000 a year job and preventing him from finding additional radio work.
David Mueller, the plaintiff in the civil suit, rested his case just before the lunch break on Friday. When court resumed, Swift’s team filed a Rule 50 motion, which according to Court Clerk Jeff Colwell says essentially means they believe “there’s insufficient evidence for the jury to get this case.”
The judge is expected to hand down a decision sometime this afternoon. No word on timing. #TaylorSwiftTrial— Allison Sylte (@AllisonSylte) August 11, 2017
Judge William J. Martinez is expected to determine whether he will throw out all or part of the case by the end of the day on Friday.
Swift’s team said they will not call any witnesses. The eight-person jury was sent home for the day and told to return Monday morning for instructions and closing statements.
Outside of the presence of the jury, Swift’s attorneys argued that Mueller never sufficiently proved that the singer had any knowledge of his contract with KYGO or any motive for falsely accusing the former morning show host.
The defense claims that Mueller’s “beef is with KYGO,” not Swift. The other defendants are her mother, Andrea, and Frank Bell, a member of her management team who predominantly deals with radio and made the call to KYGO’s general manager after the June 2, 2013, incident at the Pepsi Center.
Mueller sued Swift two years later. While a damages expert was going to testify that he deserved $3 million from the suit, he has since thrown out that witness and instead asked for whatever the jury sees fit.
In court Friday afternoon, his lawyer said he is entitled to the last two years of his $150,000 a year contract, part of signing bonus, $20,000 in endorsements and any lost wages that resulted from his damaged reputation.
Swift countersued for assault and battery and is only asking for $1.
Should the judge drop Mueller’s case, the countersuit would stand, but Colwell said Swift could decide not to proceed with that, at which point the jury would be told their services are no longer necessary.
Court will be in recess until the judge completes his ruling on the motion to remove Taylor Swift from the case #TaylorSwiftTrial— Allison Sylte (@AllisonSylte) August 11, 2017
The judge can also decide to drop some of Mueller’s complaints against Swift and her team but not all of them, Colwell said.
Swift’s attorney argued that Mueller had already said in court that the pop star was entitled to report any alleged misconduct and she had no motive to make anything up.
“That’s all we have on Ms. Swift,” Attorney Doug Baldridge said. “A man grabbed her rear-end. She told her mom. She performed a concert.”
Another point of contention was Bell’s conversation with KYGO. In court Wednesday, Bell said he told KYGO General Manager Bob Call that he wanted the station to take the “appropriate action.”
Bell said this meant an investigation, not firing the host like Andrea Swift wanted when she learned about the allegations.
Baldridge likened Andrea Swift’s wish to just a thought she kept to herself since it was never passed on to KYGO.
Mueller’s attorney countered Swift’s team’s argument by saying that he had no motive to grope the singer, since he had his “dream job” and didn’t want to lose it.
The judge pointedly asked Mueller’s attorney Gabe McFarland whether he proved Swift fabricated what had occurred.
“You’re conceding that your client denied it happened, but that Swift honestly believed Mueller touched her bare bottom?” Judge Martinez asked.
Swift’s attorneys argued there was no evidence she believed that she hadn't been groped and that it was well within her right to report it.
What was initially supposed to be a nine-day trial began on Tuesday and has attracted media from all over the world to the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver.