As part of headline-making sexual assault trial against David Mueller, Swift’s bodyguard and photographer took the stand Thursday and Friday, testifying that they saw Mueller grab the singer’s butt during the event at the Pepsi Center.
“I saw it happen,” Swift’s backstage photographer, Stephanie Simbeck, testified on Thursday, according to Buzzfeed News. “I saw his hand grab her ass.”
Simbeck said at first she thought Swift had tripped because of the way she was standing away from Mueller. “As I went to take the photo I saw her fall into the female and she had an uncomfortable, shocked look on her face,” the photographer testified.
Swift, who appeared in court Friday wearing a navy shirt-dress with thin, red and white stripes, smiled at the jury and fans gathered in the public gallery as she took her seat. She kept her hair pinned back and appeared relaxed, texting on the phone and talking to her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, as she awaited the start of the session.
Mueller, who first sued Swift in 2015, has long denied groping the 27-year-old, telling the court on Tuesday that his hand came in contact with what “seemed to be [Swift’s] ribcage or ribs.”
“Mueller absolutely, unequivocally denies he put his hand under her skirt and grabbed her bottom or touched her inappropriately,” Mueller’s attorney, Gabe McFarland, said in court at the time.
However, Swift’s former bodyguard, Greg Dent, said on Friday that he “definitely remembered” seeing the embattled DJ put his hand under the singer’s skirt.
“I know I saw it,” Dent said. “When he went to put his arm around her, his hand went up her skirt. She jumped to pull her skirt down and moved closer to the girl.”
Dent said he didn’t do anything about the grab because Swift “didn’t give any indication she wanted me to do anything … I’m sure she would have said something if she wanted me to intervene. In certain situations, I go off what Miss Swift wants me to do.” He added that the “Blank Space” singer often complained that he “was a little too mean.”
When asked why Swift may not have said anything to him immediately, Dent said that she was eager to finish the meet-and-greet. “She stayed there to finish,” he said on the stand. “She had more people there. She was going to finish.”
Dent no longer works for Swift. He declined a new position with the star as she worked to restructure her security team, Swift explained earlier this week.
Shannon Melcher, Mueller’s ex-girlfriend and the third person in the photo of the alleged assault, took the stand Friday, along with Mueller’s former radio show cohost, Ryan Kliesch.
“The photo happened very quickly,” Melcher testified, according to BuzzFeed News, adding that she wasn’t watching where Mueller’s hands were. “I was facing forward, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head.” She reportedly denied that she and Mueller drank alcohol prior to the meet and greet, as had previously been suggested.
Kliesch — whom Mueller barely glanced at despite their previous closeness — testified that he didn’t know Mueller to be disrespectful to women, and in fact initially thought the allegation “was a joke,” Buzzfeed News reports.
Mueller is suing the “Bad Blood” singer for $3 million. McFarland said that Swift’s allegation cost Mueller his “dream job” at 98.5 KYGO radio and the former DJ said in his suit that he has been banned from Swift concerts for life following the accusation.
Swift is countersuing the man for just $1, with her attorney noting that the star is “trying to tell people out there that you can say no when someone puts their hand on you.”
On Thursday, Swift testified for about an hour about the “horrifying” moment Mueller allegedly groped her.
“It was a definite grab, [a] very long grab,” she said. “It was long enough for me to be completely sure it was intentional.”