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The Journal Gazette

  • Attorneys for pop singer Taylor Swift, Douglas Baldridge, left, and Jesse P. Schaudies, Jr., are surrounded by photographers as they enter the federal courthouse for the morning session in the civil trial , Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Ryan Kliesch, a Denver radio host, emerges from the federal courthouse after testifying in the civil trial involving pop singer Taylor Swift, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Greg Dent, former security guard for pop singer Taylor Swift, emerges from the federal courthouse after testifying in the civil trial for the pop singer, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Tree Paine, right, publicist for pop singer Taylor Swift, walks with the singer's brother, Austin Swift, out of the federal courthouse after a ruling in the civil trial for the singer to determine whether a Denver radio announcer groped the singer in a case in federal court late Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Austin Swift, brother of pop singer Taylor Swift, heads to a hotel after emerging from the federal courthouse following a ruling in the civil trial for Taylor Swift to determine whether a Denver radio announcer groped the singer in a case in federal court late Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Attorney Douglas Baldridge, center, who represented pop singer Taylor Swift, emerges from the federal courthouse after a ruling in the civil trial for the singer to determine whether a Denver radio announcer groped the singer in a case in federal court late Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Eugene Yee of Denver holds up his passes for both the morning and afternoon sessions in the civil trial for pop singer Taylor Swift, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Sunday, August 13, 2017 8:30 am

Lawsuit tossed in Taylor Swift trial, but ordeal isn't over

JAMES ANDERSON and TATIANA FLOWERS | Associated Press

DENVER – Taylor Swift teared up and hugged her attorneys after a judge determined a former radio host did not prove she personally set out to have him fired for allegedly groping her at a photo op before a concert. But the singer's ordeal isn't over quite yet.

While U.S. District Judge William Martinez threw out David Mueller's case against Swift on Friday, identical allegations against her mother and her radio liaison are expected to go to jurors on Monday.

Mueller sued the three after Swift's team reported the alleged 2013 assault in Denver to his bosses. He is seeking up to $3 million, saying the allegation cost him his reputation and his job.

Swift countersued Mueller, saying she wanted a symbolic $1 and the chance to stand up for other women. The jury will still consider her assault claim.

"I couldn't be more proud to represent somebody like Taylor Swift who's willing to step up in a situation like this," attorney Douglas Baldridge said outside court Friday. He also expressed his gratitude for the judge.

Mueller's team didn't comment on the decision, which followed days of testimony from the singer and others and just before jurors were set to hear closing arguments.

Swift spent an hour on the witness stand Thursday defiantly recounting what she called a "despicable and horrifying and shocking" encounter before a concert.

"He stayed attached to my bare ass-cheek as I lurched away from him," she testified.

"It was a definite grab. A very long grab," she added in her testimony.

Swift's testy exchange with Mueller's attorney occasionally elicited chuckles — even from the six-woman, two-man jury. She got a laugh when she said her security guard saw Mueller "lift my skirt" but someone would have had to have been underneath her to see the actual groping — "and we didn't have anyone positioned there."

Swift testified that after the photo was taken, she tried to get as far away from Mueller as she could. She said she told him and his girlfriend, who was also in the photo, "thank you for coming" in a monotone voice before they left.

She also said she was stunned and did not say anything to Mueller or halt the event after he left because she did not want to disappoint several dozen people waiting in line for photos with her.

In the image, shown to jurors during opening statements but not publicly released, Mueller's hand is behind Swift, just below her waist. Mueller's then-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, is on the other side of Swift. All three are smiling.

Melcher testified Friday that she saw nothing happen during the brief encounter and that she and Mueller were rudely confronted and escorted out of the arena that evening. Melcher said Mueller was devastated by the accusation.

She said she and Mueller started out as co-workers at country station KYGO-FM and became romantically involved in February 2013, a few months before the concert. They drifted apart late in 2013, but Melcher says they remained friends.