When David Mueller, then a radio host, allegedly grabbed Taylor Swift’s bare ass during a photo op, she responded by getting him fired from his DJ job and banning him for life from her concerts. Mueller sued her for damages claiming she falsely accuses him of groping her. She filed a countersuit accusing Mueller of assault. The countersuit details the 2013 incident.
As a part of his then-job at 98.5 KYGO on the “Ryno and Jackson” morning show, Mueller had been invited to meet Swift backstage.
“Mueller intentionally reached under (Swift’s) skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will and without her permission,” the counterclaim says. “Mueller did not merely brush his hand against Ms. Swift while posing for the photograph: he lifted her skirt and groped her.”
Mueller claims a colleague groped Swift, not him.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Mueller is now trying to keep Swift’s expert from testifying that Mueller’s profile is consistent with perpetrators of sexual assault. Mueller filed a motion on Thursday to bar the testimony of Lorraine Bayard de Volo, Ph.D., a Women and Gender Studies professor from the University of Colorado Boulder. Bayard de Volo was hired by Taylor’s legal team to offer her opinion in the case.
Her 20-page report explains that sexual harassment and assault are motivated by the perpetrator’s need to assert power and protect his status.
“Throughout David Mueller’s pleadings in this lawsuit and his deposition testimony, he indicated that even before he met Ms. Swift, he felt his job security was threatened, his identity as a radio personality was threatened, and his masculinity was threatened. This perfect storm of threats to Mr. Mueller’s perceived status is consistent with the well-settled, academically-accepted, perceived threats to status that motivate a man to commit sexual harassment or assault,” Bayard de Volo’s report says.
The report points to Mueller’s occupation and “belief that unwanted sexual contact is something that men in radio can get away with even if other men cannot . . . .” The report says Mueller testified that the Swift Tour personnel didn’t give him the respect he deserved as a radio personality. Essentially, the report explains, he was motivated to commit sexual assault or harassment based on his need to assert power and protect his own status.
Mueller’s motion to bar the report argues that Bayard de Volo–who has a doctorate in political science–has never served as an expert witness and “apparently has no training in psychology.”
“Nonetheless, according to Ms. Bayard de Volo’s written report, she intends to opine that Mr. Mueller had the profile of a person likely to sexually assault women,” the motion reads.
The judge is implored to take note that “there are millions of men who worry about their jobs or receive threats to their masculinity every day and who never sexually harass or assault women. In other words, with the group described by Ms. Bayard de Volo, there are at least as many men who have not or would inappropriate[ly] touch a woman.”
The trial is set for August 7, 2017.