Taylor Swift Has Opened Up About Her Sexual Assault Trial For The First Time
“This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me … why should I be polite?”
On Wednesday, Time magazine announced that its 2017 Person of the Year would be the "Silence Breakers", a group of women and men who kickstarted a global conversation about the issue of sexual harassment and assault.
Time, Inc. / Reuters
The group of "Silence Breakers" includes Taylor Swift, who made headlines in August this year when she sued the man who sexually assaulted her for a symbolic $1.
Radio DJ David Mueller was fired from his job in 2013 after Swift accused him of sexual assault and reported the incident to his employers. Two years later, he filed a lawsuit against her, claiming up to $3 million in damages and denying the assault ever happened. She then countersued for a single dollar, in order to serve as an "example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts".
Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images
Until now, Swift hadn't spoken publicly about the trial since the jury voted unanimously in her favour. In fact, the only time she'd spoken on the matter at all was during her seriously badass testimony.
When asked whether she felt guilty about Mueller losing his job, she replied, "I’m not going to let you or your client make me feel in any way that this is my fault. Here we are years later, and I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are the product of his decisions – not mine."
Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images
Now she's given her first interview since making a comeback with her new album, Reputation, and she spoke for the first time about the trial and how it affected her life.
She also explained exactly how she felt when she testified, and revealed that she broke the record for the number of times the word "ass" was used in Colorado Federal Court.
Mike Coppola / Getty Images
My mom was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand. I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened.
"This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom," she said. "Why should I be polite?"
She added: "I would tell people who find themselves in this situation that there is a great deal of blame placed on the victims in cases of sexual harassment and assault. You could be blamed for the fact that it happened, for reporting it and blamed for how you reacted."
And she went on: "You might be made to feel like you’re overreacting, because society has made this stuff seem so casual."
Going to court to confront this type of behaviour is a lonely and draining experience, even when you win, even when you have the financial ability to defend yourself.