Swift’s legal team, led by Courtney Ann Sullivan with Venable Baetjer and Howard in Washington, D.C., asked the Chair of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Lorraine Bayard de Volo, Ph.D., to submit expert testimony on sexual assault to supplement Swift’s counterclaim against former country music disc jockey David Mueller.
Mueller was fired two days after he attended a meet-and-greet with Taylor Swift before her Pepsi Center performance on June 2, 2013. A security team kicked Mueller out of the concert after Swift claimed Mueller had touched her butt while he posed for a photo with his girlfriend and Swift.
Mueller sued Swift in May 2015, claiming her groping claims had cost him his job and harmed his opportunities for other employment. Mueller said in his lawsuit that his boss, Eddie Haskell, privately admitted to him that he had touched Swift under her skirt during his own meet-and-greet.
Swift countersued Mueller in October 2015, alleging sexual assault and battery. She claimed Mueller had “intentionally reached under her skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will, and without her permission.”
In Bayard de Volo’s testimony, the professor says Swift’s reaction was “entirely consistent” with someone who had been recently assaulted.
“My expert opinion is that Ms. Swift’s delayed verbal reporting of unwanted sexual contact is entirely consistent with the reaction displayed by someone who has been sexually assaulted,” according to the testimony, which was submitted on July 27, 2016.
The testimony addressed Mueller’s response when he discovered that his boss and radio partner had been admitted to an exclusive group for the meet-and-greet from which Mueller had been excluded.
“Mr. Mueller’s deposition contains numerous statements that indicate the centrality of his radio status to his sense of self and the importance he placed on the fact that he was not recognized as a radio personality during the meet-and-greet event,” the testimony states.
“Mr. Muller ‘discovered’ upon arrival that his partner Kliesch and boss Haskell had already been admitted with the radio executive group, which Mr. Mueller perceived as the more exclusive group.
“His stated perception of events and his view of his own status is consistent with the circumstances under which sexual aggressors would commit unwanted sexual contact, such as grabbing a woman’s bottom. His testimony and pleadings also indicate his belief that unwanted sexual contact is something that men in radio can get away with.”
Mueller, represented by Gabriel McFarland with Evans and McFarland in Golden, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen Mix to exclude the professor’s testimony from trial.
“Ms. Bayard de Volo’s opinion that men who are worried about their jobs or receive threats to their masculinity are likely to commit sexual harassment or assault will not assist the trier of fact,” the motion says. It was submitted on May 11.
“There are millions of men who worry about their jobs or receive threats to their masculinity every day who never sexually harass or assault women.”
Neither Swift’s nor Mueller’s attorney immediately responded to requests for comment.