Clad in a black turtleneck dress and chunky platform boots, the singer appeared relaxed before proceedings commenced, talking to her brother Austin and mother Andrea in adjacent seats.
Mueller’s attorney, Gabe McFarland, argued before an eight-person jury that Swift’s allegations of assault destroyed his client’s career. When McFarland claimed that Mueller “is not the guy” who grabbed Swift’s backside, the Denver Post reports that the 26-year-old star was heard to audibly sigh. She became even more emotional when McFarland turned his attention to the photo taken during the alleged incident, which has become something of a smoking gun in this case.
“Is that the face of someone who’s had someone grab their butt? Who is shocked?” he asked the jury. “There’s nothing in Taylor Swift’s face to suggest anything is wrong.” Meanwhile, Swift herself looked on, dabbing tears from her eyes.
Swift leaned back in her chair as she listened to her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, deliver his statement, saying that “Taylor Swift said ‘no,’” and urging the jurors to say the same. Buzzfeed reporter Claudia Rosenbaum says the lawyer iterated the fact that Swift wanted “one single symbolic dollar” to serve as a message to all men on behalf of all women that no means no.
“In the most twisted circumstances, Mr. Mueller is seeking millions from these people for his wrongful conduct,” Baldridge reportedly said. “Is the victimization going to stop here or is it going to go on … Is the victimization going to allow this guy to get a big payday?” Mueller is reportedly seeking $250,050 after his initial ask of $3 million for future lost earnings was rejected by Federal Judge William J. Martinez.
After hearing the closing arguments, the case is now in the hands of the jury, which will deliberate until a unanimous decision is reached.
Swift scored a victory on Friday, when Judge Martinez dismissed Mueller’s case that the pop star got him fired, citing insufficient evidence. However, his case against Swift’s mother, Andrea, was not dismissed and Swift’s case against Mueller for sexual assault remains ongoing.
In his ruling, the judge said Mueller had filed claims of interference with contract against Swift personally rather than 13 Management, the company under which Andrea Swift and Frank Bell — who works with her management team — are employed. “Simply put, it is far too late for the plaintiff to argue that he had filed the wrong claims against the wrong people,” he said.