Taylor Swift groping case: Live updates from Day 3 in Denver federal court

Posted at 9:24 AM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 20:11:47-04

DENVER – The third day of the trial between Taylor Swift and a former Denver radio DJ accused of groping her at a photo shoot in June 2013 is underway in Denver Wednesday. On Tuesday, the former KYGO DJ, David Mueller, took the stand after a jury panel of six women and two men was seated.

See courtroom sketches from every day of court thus far by clicking here.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day. Refresh the page for latest updates. (All times Mountain):

6:11 p.m.

Our wrap of Day 3 has been posted here. Take a read to catch up on everything that happened, or scroll back through today's updates. Be back tomorrow!

4:27 p.m.

We are done with court for the day, Judge Martinez says. Back at 8:45 a.m. Thursday. We'll have a wrap of the day posted shortly.


4:26 p.m.

Bell is asked how long he’s known Taylor Swift, to which he says he’s known her since birth, and receives family Christmas cards each year.

He says that he’d spoken with Eddie Haskell the night of the alleged incident, but that Haskell had called Bob Call before he had ever spoken with him.

Bell says he’s known Haskell for years, and lets out a small laugh when Baldridge asks if he thinks Haskell would have grabbed Swift, then says, “No.”

Bell says Mueller seemed “sheepish” on the night when they all gathered, when Mueller was informed he was being booted from the Pepsi Center.

Bell says he never directed Bob Call to fire Mueller, only saying that the allegations should be investigated.

“I personally would find it very offensive if someone from outside my organization called and told me what to do with my employees,” Bell says of his discussions with Call about Mueller.

Baldridge pulls up an email sent from Bell to Call on the morning of June 3, just before 9 a.m. It’s the notorious photo

“Just for the record please take care that this photo is not displayed publicly or displayed through any other type of media,” it read.

He reiterates that he wanted to keep the allegations secret.

A reply email from Call is then brought up.

“You have my word, Frank. We are simply using it to further our internal investigation,” Call responded.

Bell says he had “no doubt” Call would keep everything confidential. He says he never told Call what Call should perceive in the photo, and says he never told Call what decision should be made.

Baldridge wraps questioning, and McFarland declines to re-cross Bell.

Judge Martinez wraps court for the day. We’ll be back at 8:45 a.m. Thursday.


4:06 p.m.

Bell is asked why he never talked to Swift’s personal bodyguard. He says he talked to her, and that was all he needed, but that he also talked to other staffers in the photo booth room before calling Bob Call with the allegations against Mueller.

McFarland goes back to Bell’s June 2016 deposition, in which he said he didn’t conduct an investigation.

Bell says he “stumbled” regarding the word “investigation,” and that by asking other staffers, says that was an investigation. Just not a formal investigation.

McFarland brings up the photo again, and asks if Bell thinks Swift’s dress is ruffled. He says he believes parts of the skirt is indeed ruffled.

He says he believes she’s “scootching” away from Mueller in the photo.

Bell also says that they did not contact police because they treated it as a “workplace” sexual incident.

McFarland ends his questioning. Baldridge is called on for cross-examination, asks to approach the bench for a conference.


3:57 p.m.

Bell said he probably did interact with Mueller but don’t recall what was discussed. He says he doesn’t recall if he spoke to Melcher.

He says he went to meeting with Robert Allen and Andrea Swift after that. Andrea was upset. Everyone was very upset at that time, he says.

Andrea asked Bell to communicate with KYGO “as soon as possible.”

“She wanted me to inform the station of what had happened…She wanted to make sure that Mr. Mueller was fired, was no longer working there,” Bell said.

Bell says that he talked to Call, the GM at KYGO, whom he’d known for years.

“We had an incident at the concert last night,” Bell says he told Call. “And he said, ‘Yes, Eddie told me.’ I reiterated the details of what happened,” Bell says.

“You told call that Mueller had inappropriately touched Swift, had grabbed her butt,” McFarland asked him.

Bell says he told Call he was greatly disappointed that the incident had happened, and that it had allegedly been done by someone at KYGO.

“In my mind, the only thing I was asking Call to do is investigate what happened and to take the appropriate action,” Bell says.

“We were very concerned about photograph getting out there,” Bell says, saying the photo leaking would be “embarrassing” and “humiliating.”

“We didn’t want that photograph following her around for the rest of her career,” he said.

Bell said he’d previously had a very good relationship with Call and KYGO, and that the “appropriate action” he suggested would be a “thorough investigation” and to take “appropriate action” on Mueller “after they did their homework.”

He says in his mind, that could have meant three things: A reassignment for Mueller, a possible suspension, or possible termination. But he says he simply wanted an investigation, and for them not to “do nothing.”

“I didn’t feel like it was my place to tell Mr. Call or Lincoln Financial Media how to treat their employee,” Bell says.

But he said he wasn’t surprised Mueller was fired in the end.


3:42 p.m.

Frank Bell, Swift’s “radio guy” who Andrea Swift said was tasked with handling the allegations involving Mueller with KYGO, is now on the stand being questioned by Mueller’s attorney, McFarland.

“Some radio guy was here and he stuck his hand up my skirt and grabbed my bare ass,” Bell says Swift told him when he was called to the photo booth about the alleged touching incident.

He says Swift told him she was “pretty sure he was a radio guy” because they’d talked about KYGO, but Swift didn’t recognize him from any prior meetings.

Bell says he talked to Dent, who is Swift’s primary bodyguard, about the alleged touching incident, and that Dent confirmed something happened.

Bell said he wasn’t angry with Dent, but rather “shocked,” “horrified,” and “appalled” and Mueller’s alleged behavior.

He says he left the photo booth after that and went over to the VIP meet-and-greet nearby.


3:28 p.m.

Court is back in session after a short break. Andrea Swift is back on the stand, being questioned by Mueller’s lawyer, M. Gabriel McFarland.

“Is there any possibility it was someone else other than Mr. Mueller?” he asks.

“None whatsoever,” Andrea Swift says.

McFarland starts to ask her about if she’d seen all the photos from the June 2, 2013 meet-and-greet. She says she’d seen the ones left on the server.

He then introduces a new piece of evidence. It’s a guest list for the June 2 Swift concert.

David Mueller’s name is on the guest list, and Andrea says she doesn’t know if it is a list for the meet-and-greet because it is from another company.

McFarland then brings back up the photo of Mueller and Swift, recalls allegations that Mueller had grabbed Swift. But she says that she believes the photo shows Taylor’s skirt is “disturbed” and that Mueller’s hand could possibly be under it.


2:57 p.m.

Baldridge asks about why Andrea Swift didn’t contact police.

“I think anytime something this traumatic happens in your life, you kind of torture yourself,” Andrea says. She says there were moments where they thought it over again, but in the end, she said, she “thought we did the right thing.”

“We didn’t want it to be public. Even when we were—a great deal of discussion that night was about—Frank told us that he’d told Bob Call he had the photograph. Frank wanted him to send the photograph. I was scared to death about that,” Andrea says.

She says she was worried it would leak to the media—which it eventually did.

“I was scared to death of that photograph getting out,” she says.

Baldridge asks her about what changes have come to Swift’s tour and the management company after the alleged incident involving Mueller.

“We don’t trust like we did. We look at everything through a magnifying glass now as to what could go wrong, and how we could try and protect her better. But I think we still want to believe that we have a great relationship with the radio. You don’t want to punish that entire community because of what one person did. You don’t want to take things away from fans because of what one person did, but we’re trying to find some balance there,” Andrea Swift says.

Baldridge nears the end of his questioning as we approach another break.

“Who assaulted your daughter on June 2, 2013?” he asks.

“David Mueller did,” Andrea replies.

“Thank you,” Baldridge says.

We’re taking an afternoon break. Be back shortly.


2:52 p.m.

Andrea Swift is now being asked about the photo of Mueller and her daughter.

“The second I saw it, I knew there was something going horribly wrong in that picture.”

How did she know, Baldridge asks.

“Because of her body, and the look in her eyes,” Andrea said. “I know those eyes better than anybody. I can tell by the way she’s pulling over…because she’s literally pulling away from him as far as she can.”

“There’s something going on in her eyes…I just looked at it and I was sickened,” Andrea says.

She says there have been tens of thousands of photos of Taylor with fans taken over the years—Andrea says she’s never seen a photo of Taylor looking that way before.

She says she “absolutely” did not tell Frank Bell that Mueller needed to be fired, and that he would be the point of contact with getting in touch with KYGO “because he was the radio guy.”

She says Bell had worked in radio for 30 years at that point and new Call, the KYGO GM.


2:45 p.m.

Andrea Swift is explaining how Taylor would at times in the past go out into the crowd to interact with her fans, and says that even with all those instances, that Taylor had never reported anyone ever assaulting or touching her beforehand.

She says that after the alleged groping by Mueller, Taylor never goes into the crowd anymore.

“It’s absolutely shattered our trust,” Andrea said. She says the meet-and-greets don’t happen as often and now have tighter security.

Asked if Andrea knows Eddie Haskell, she says yes. She says she saw Haskell and Taylor take a photo together, and knew that Haskell hadn’t grabbed Taylor.

She again says that she first learned about the alleged groping after a stage tour and upon going into Taylor’s dressing room, where she was alone.

Andrea said Taylor was “shaken…humiliated…horribly embarrassed because [Mueller] grabbed her bare ass.”

She goes on to explain again how the decision was made to inform KYGO about the incident.


2:27 p.m.

“One of the things that stuck with me was that she couldn’t believe that she—after the incident, after he grabbed her—that she thanked them for being there,” Andrea says, starting to cry.

“She said thank you. And it was just destroying her that she said that after somebody did that to her. As a parent, it makes me question why I taught her to be so polite—in that moment.”

Asked if Taylor had ever lied about something similar before, Andrea says “never.”

She said she has no question whatsoever that her daughter was telling the truth.


2:23 p.m.

Andrea Swift talks about the Swift family: she, Taylor, Scott (husband) and Austin (son).

Andrea wanted Taylor to ride horses, but she loved singing. At age 11, Taylor convinced her mom to take a trip to Nashville. Taylor brought some demos, had a successful trip.

She came back and started playing more and recording those songs, and at age 13 went down to Nashville again, and after playing for some record labels, was given a development deal.

Then, the family decided to move to Nashville, and a year later at the end of the development deal, she was offered another development deal.

Taylor said she didn’t think the label “got” her music.

McFarland chimes in: “It’s an interesting story, but I’m not sure it’s relevant.”

“I’m not sure how far you wanted me to go back. I could go back to her birth if you want,” Andrea says.

Baldridge starts new line of questioning over how many radio stations she and Taylor had visited together over the years. Hundreds, Andrea said. She said they met people from “thousands and thousands” of organizations.

She says no one had ever touched Taylor before Mueller allegedly did.


2:18 p.m.

Did Andrea Swift want Mueller to be fired?

“I hoped they would come to that conclusion, but it was their call,” Andrea says.

“But you absolutely wanted him fired?” McFarland asks.

“I absolutely did. He committed a sexual assault on my daughter. I absolutely did,” she continues.

She says she did not know “anything” about what might happen and that she had no expectations on if he would be fired.

“I wanted them to make their own conclusion,” she says.

McFarland ends his questioning. Andrea Swift now being cross-examined by her attorney. He starts by asking about the Swift family.


2:07 p.m.

“I knew what happened. I heard it from her. I heard it from my daughter’s mouth. I know what happened. He sexually assaulted her, that guy,” Andrea Swift says.

Greg Dent, Swift’s personal bodyguard, was in room when photo was taken. Andrea Swift says Dent is a “terrific” bodyguard.

McFarland asks why she wasn’t concerned about Dent not doing anything after the alleged touching, and she says that she couldn’t expect Dent to be blamed for a quick movement by Mueller.

McFarland is shut down by the judge when trying to ask about whether Andrea Swift’s son would ever touch a woman inappropriately.

Andrea swift says Stephanie Simbeck, an assistant in the photo booth, told her, “I knew exactly when it happened. I knew he grabbed her.”


2:04 p.m.

“We felt it was imperative that we let [Mueller’s] employers know what happened,” Andrea Swift says.

“I did not want this event to define her life,” she says. “I did not want every interview from that moment on to have to make her talk about what happened to her. I did not want her to have to life through the endless memes and gifs that tabloid media and internet trolls decided to come up with—doctoring the pictures…and making her relive this awful moment over and over again. We absolutely wanted to keep this private, but we didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

She says they “contemplated” contacting police.

“It was the workplace. We wanted to see what happened after this. We weren’t going to stop,” Andrea says.

She says after the show, she told Taylor that Mueller would not be in the building or able to “stare at her after what he had just done to her.”

But she said Taylor would have to pull herself together and focus for a show—explains what a stage setup is like and how there are trapdoors.

“I didn’t consult with her a great deal before the show…because she wanted to play the show,” Andrea says.


1:58 p.m.

Andrea Swift did not attend the meet-and-greet, nor was she in photo booth when photo of Mueller and Taylor was taken. She did not witness her daughter being touched, but says Taylor told her.

“I was very upset. That’s different than angry,” Andrea Swift says.

“I was upset to the extent of feeling like I wanted to vomit and cry at the same time,” she adds.

Far more upset and trying to be attentive to my daughter than angry.

She says she consulted with Frank Bell and Taylor, and somehow learned that Mueller was associated by Frank Bell, though she says she does not recall whether Bell told her Mueller was an employee there.

But McFarland notes that in June 2016 deposition that she said she “believed” she learned about Mueller’s employer from Frank Bell, and that she has no reason to think otherwise right now.

This meeting happened prior to the concert. Andrea Swift says she learned during the concert Mueller had been escorted from the building. She and team met again after concert to discuss Mueller, among other things.

They decided “as a group,” Andrea says that it was “important for [Mueller’s] employers to understand what took place and important that this not happen to another woman.”

She’s asked why she didn’t call police.

“This had never happened before. It was unconceivable to us how this took place and where it took place. It was shocking,” she said. “We didn’t know what to do. Everything came up.”


1:50 p.m.

Mueller is off the stand. His counsel calls Andrea Swift to the stand -- Taylor's mother.

The onset of her testimony begins with a spat over the words "formally" versus "formerly" regarding who her employer is in regards to a June 2016 deposition.


1:49 p.m.

Baldridge is allowed to re-cross Mueller. He asks Mueller about expert witness testimony submitted in the case, which Mueller says he wasn’t happy with and was unaware his lawyer had submitted in the case.

He also presses Mueller on how much he had drank that night: “Sir, you drank a lot that night, didn’t you?” Mueller says: “I didn’t drink anything that night.”

Baldridge has Mueller reiterate that his hand was not behind Swift’s waist when the photo was taken, and that many of the others who had photos taken were young girls and women.


1:39 p.m.

Mueller is back on the stand after lunch.

He’s being questioned by his own lawyer about what happened after he was fired from KYGO. He says people starting contacting him and asking why he wasn’t on air, and he started contacting some of his close friends and family members, some of whom also worked in radio, telling them about what had happened.

He says he told those people that he had been accused of sexual harassment by a woman at a concert.

His attorney then asks if he is indeed seeking $3 million in damages, as Swift’s attorney claims. He refutes that, saying he’s seeking only what a jury might reward and again claiming he’s only trying to clear his name.

“It’s the only chance I have of working in radio again,” Mueller says.


1:00 p.m.

Denver7's Marc Stewart and Blair Miller hopped on Facebook Live after the lunch break to discuss what's happened so far in the trial this morning. Watch in the player embedded below or by clicking here.


12:18 p.m.

Court has recessed until 1:30 p.m. for lunch. We'll be back then, and will be doing a Facebook Live to talk about what's happened so far this morning on the Denver7 Facebook page.


12:13 p.m.

Mueller is back to being questioned by his attorney, M. Gabriel McFarland.

“Do you know where your hand was not,” McFarland asks him. “It was not on Ms. Taylor Swift’s rear end,” Mueller replied.

The notorious photo is again brought up, and Mueller says it was difficult for him to move his hand high enough on her back because he’d brushed her ribs already.

He said he was several feet away when he started moving in for the photo and decided it would be a good idea to close his fist so he didn’t “poke” her.


12:03 p.m.

Baldridge has Mueller acknowledge he told approximately 37 people in the radio industry about the allegations between him and Swift and his firing from KYGO, tries to get Mueller to admit that Swift and her team didn’t hurt his future employment because they didn’t make it public. Here’s the exchange:

Baldridge: “Is it possible that you rendered yourself unemployable by talking about the incident in the radio industry?

Mueller: “It’s possible that people working in the radio community heard about it through me telling someone.”

Baldridge: “So you sir may have rendered yourself unemployable in the radio industry, correct?”

Mueller: “I can’t go that far.”

Baldridge: “It’s possible isn’t it?”

Mueller: “Can I ask you a question?”

Baldridge: “No it doesn’t work that way, I’m sorry.”

Baldridge: “Is it possible that you rendered yourself unemployable by talking about the incident in the radio industry?”

Mueller: “I don’t think I can answer that question yes or no.”

Baldridge: “OK, fair enough.”

After that exchange, Baldridge starts questioning Mueller about how his job search has gone since he was fired from KYGO.

Mueller admits he has never filled out an application for a job outside of the radio industry, though he says he had sought jobs.

He says he was trying to “create a new occupation” for himself—something to do with radio, but behind the scenes and under the radar, he says.

But he admits he’s only sought on-air personality jobs in top 20 markets, though there are at least 180 other markets he could have been trying to get a job in, Baldridge says.

Mueller says a friend at another market said it “would be difficult” for him to get a job until he got “the legal thing” behind him.

He also admits that there was talk of him being a candidate for a promotions job in Philadelphia, but he never applied. He also heard of a “possible job” from his talent agent in Atlanta.


11:36 a.m.

Baldridge pressing Mueller on what led to his firing.

He brings up KYGO general manager Bob Call’s deposition, in which Call alleged that Mueller had changed his story in their meeting together, which happened the day after the alleged groping.

Mueller says he is unaware of whether Swift, her mother Andrea, or anyone else on the team—aside from Frank Bell—ever contacted KYGO.

Baldridge then goes into the potential damages discussed in the case, and discusses Mueller’s final paycheck. He says Mueller was wrong Tuesday when he said that Baldridge’s claim that he was seeking 15 times the amount of his salary was incorrect.

After confusion on Mueller’s behalf, Baldridge moves on.


11:23 a.m.

Baldridge is now telling Mueller about workplace sexual harassment, and how it often isn’t first reported to police. Mueller agrees that he was on a work function, and that Swift was also working at the time.

Baldridge explains why perhaps the Swift team didn’t want to get the police involved in the alleged groping, saying that making the allegation would put everything in the public spotlight.

He says that by filing charges, both the allegation against Mueller and Swift’s actions would be made public and reported by the media.


11:19 a.m.

Baldridge asks why Mueller was not more cautious with his hand placement when getting together with Swift for the photo. He says he “didn’t want to hurt” Swift when sliding his fist across her back.

Baldridge brings up other photos from that night with Swift and other fans.

“You’ve seen other photos…no one else had their photos near her rear end,” Baldridge says.

“That’s a man right? … Do you see his arm is above her rear end? Doesn’t that seem more appropriate,” Baldridge asks Mueller. He agrees.

“Is it possible someone could see your photo with Ms. Swift and reach the conclusion she was trying to get away from you,” he asks Mueller. Mueller says that is possible.

He asks Mueller about testimony that Mueller had told a Swift security guard to call the police when that was threatened, and is asked why he never called the police himself, though he could have.

Mueller acknowledges he could have indeed called the police on his own.


11:08 a.m.

Baldridge gets Mueller to admit that he didn’t know where his hand was when the photo was taken. Mueller says he was looking ahead at the camera the entire time while he and Swift were “jostling” arms.

“I know I touched her rib cage ... I know [my hand] went behind her,” Mueller said. “If anyone touched her rear, she’d have a right to not like that.”

Baldridge then goes into the drink Mueller’s girlfriend, Melcher, got him.

Baldridge brings up a deposition from staffers who were in the room, and former NSA staffer Greg Dent, who all alleged that Baldridge was drunk when he got into the room to take the photo.

Mueller describes the photo as “awkward,” and says it’s fair that his general manager at KYGO, Bob Call, could consider it “weird and awkward” as well.


10:57 a.m.

Baldridge introduces a new piece of evidence, a photo of Eddie Haskell and Taylor Swift taken before the June 2, 2013 Denver show, and asks Mueller to confirm that it is Haskell in the photo. He does.

Baldridge then asks Mueller if he can see that Haskell's fist is above Swift's waist in the photo, which is indeed the case, and which Mueller also confirms.

Mueller has alleged that Haskell had told him he was the one who groped Swift.

Baldridge then brings back up the photo of Mueller, his girlfriend Shannon Melcher, and Swift. Baldridge goes back into line of questioning Mueller about his hand placement during the photo.

He goes back after Mueller's claim that his knuckles had brushed Swift's ribs, and asks Mueller to recount the "jostling" that took place as they got together during the photo.

Mueller continues to claim it was a "quick slide in" to get the photo and that he didn't touch Swift's bare bottom. Baldridge is contending the photo doesn't make clear the position of Mueller's hand, but says it's clear his hand is behind Swift's bottom.

Mueller continues to claim his palm was down at the time of the photo.


10:52 a.m.

Baldridge is back to cross-examining Mueller, and is asking about why Mueller's allegations that he brought up Tuesday about Eddie Haskell saying he had touched Swift's bottom and a comment about bike shorts was never included in the draft lawsuits sent to Baldridge.

Mueller says he believes one of many draft lawsuits contained that information, but Baldridge pushes back, saying none exist.

"I accept that," Mueller says.


10:49 a.m.

The attorneys for both parties are now in another private sidebar conference that was called for in the middle of cross-examination on Mueller. Microphones in the court are turned off during these conferences, so it's unclear what is being discussed.


10:39 a.m.

Taylor Swift's attorney, J. Doug Baldridge, is back to cross-examining David Mueller this morning, continuing from yesterday. 

Baldridge is asking Mueller about testimony from Swift's team who were in the photo both with the two on June 2, 2013, in which several people said they had either seen Mueller lift Swift's skirt or heard her talking about it directly afterward.

One of the assistants said Swift told them shortly after the photo with Mueller was taken: "Dude, that guy just grabbed my ass."

Others testified in prior depositions that they had never seen Swift react to a photo-shoot in that way.

Mueller acknowledges that all of these things were said in prior depositions.


10:34 a.m.

Court has resumed for the day. The attorneys are currently at the bench. Swift, her mother and attorneys are back in court today.


10:11 a.m.

The court public information officer just came back into the press room and told reporters that court will be back in session at 10:30 a.m. -- in 20 minutes.


10:09 a.m.

After more than an hour of a closed conference between the attorneys and Judge Martinez, some of the parties have entered the courtroom again. Judge Martinez is not back at the bench yet, however.


9:38 a.m.

Follow along with Denver7 reporter Blair Miller on Twitter, who is in court for the trial.

Tweets by blairmiller


9:09 a.m.

Day 3 of the trial is underway with a closed sidebar conference with attorneys from both sides and Judge Martinez. It’s unclear at this point what exactly the teams are discussing.

The court public information officer says these conferences are usually held to introduce evidence or discuss procedure, but there's also a possibility that settlements come out of these discussions in some cases.

Read our Day 2 wrap here. Read the full Day 2 live blog here.