A judge has thrown out a former Denver DJ’s claims against Taylor Swift, saying that over the course of a four-day trial, his team failed to prove that she falsely accused him of groping her - an accusation he says got him fired from a $150,000 a year job.
Swift’s mother, Andrea, and Frank Bell, a member of her senior management team, will still be named in the lawsuit. After closing statements on Monday, a jury will decide whether they interfered with former KYGO radio host David Mueller’s contract.
The pop star’s countersuit against Mueller - which is only for $1 - still stands.
The judge spent a few hours deciding whether to throw out all or part of Mueller’s case after Swift’s attorney brought up a rule 50 motion, which essentially argued that the DJ’s team had no case.
Judge William J. Martinez said the evidence indicates there was a chance a jury could find it possible that Andrea Swift and Frank Bell may have caused Mueller to lose his job, but that it was clear Taylor Swift was not involved.
Mueller’s team admitted that there was no evidence that Swift had falsely accused the DJ of groping her and that it was well within her rights to report what happened to her management team as well as his employer.
The former DJ said he’s suing Swift for what the jury sees fit - a number that Martinez said can equal the pay from the last two years on his contract at KYGO but not wages he may have been lost from future employment, citing insufficient evidence.
Mueller was initially going to call a damages expert to the stand who said he should be owed $3 million but opted to throw out that witness.
This was a big factor into the judge’s decision.
Martinez said there are reasons to believe Swift’s team used her clout to get Mueller fired from KYGO in part due to testimony from Mueller’s ex-girlfriend, who alleged that she was groped in a similar matter by another KYGO employee while she worked there, but he got to keep his job.
This is why the jury will hear a case against Andrea Swift and Frank Bell.
The pop star’s mother testified that she “absolutely” wanted Mueller fired, and Bell was the one who made the call to KYGO asking them to take “appropriate actions.” The judge said there is a possibility Swift’s team threatened economic sanctions against KYGO, putting pressure on them to fire their morning show DJ.
Another part of the case was thrown out on what amounted to a technicality Friday afternoon.
In the lawsuit, Mueller alleged that Andrea Swift and Frank Bell were employees of Swift - something that’s not true. They are actually employees of 13Management LLC, which handles business for the pop star but is technically a separate entity.
While the judge said he would have amended the lawsuit to reflect that they worked at 13Management LLC in the beginning, he said it’s too late and Mueller’s team should have caught this discrepancy.
This essentially means that Mueller had no grounds for the suit to assert that Andrea Swift and Frank Bell worked directly for Swift.
The legal battle, which has gotten attention from around the world, stems from a June 2, 2013, meet-and-greet at the Pepsi Center during Swift’s Red Tour.
Mueller was escorted from the venue after Swift accused him of “grabbing her bare ass.” Her management team later called his bosses at KYGO and provided a photo of the incident that they say was proof of inappropriate conduct.
He was fired shortly thereafter and said the incident tarnished his reputation to the point that he can’t get another job in radio.
The jury will hear closing statements in the case on Monday morning.
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