A courtroom sketch shows David Mueller with is attorney in court on Thursday, August 10.
DJ in Taylor Swift case maintains his innocence
03:04 - Source: CNN

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David Mueller talked to CNN after the jury ruled in Swift's favor

CNN  — 

For six days inside of a downtown Denver courtroom, David Mueller sat facing the jury of eight people that would ultimately rule that he assaulted and battered one of the biggest names in music: Taylor Swift.

The white-haired, six-foot former radio DJ gleaned nothing from the expressions on the jurors’ faces as they watched each witness testify, but he figured it wouldn’t be right to face the other way.

“I wanted them to see me. I didn’t want to have my back to them,” Mueller said.

He said he approached the accusations against him in much the same way – head on.

What makes Mueller’s decision to file suit extraordinary is that after he was accused of grabbing Swift’s bare backside at a meet and greet on June 2, 2013, there were only a handful of people who knew about it at all – just whispers and rumors inside the radio industry.

It was Mueller himself who brought the accusations to light, with his now-failed lawsuit against Swift, her mother and a member of her management team – claiming they were responsible for his firing from Denver radio station KYGO.

In his closing statement, Swift’s attorney Doug Baldridge pleaded with jurors to “stop the victimization in this country and in this courtroom.”

But in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Mueller said he is a victim too.

‘I knew I was up against a very powerful celebrity.’

Mueller, who continues to maintain his innocence testified over two days. Early on, Baldridge tried to paint him as a shock-jock wannabe, who was out for money.

“It’s just demonization, you know. Shock jock equals bad … I’ve never been a shock jock,” he said.

He likens his courtroom experience to that of David and Goliath – outmanned and outgunned by Swift’s legal entourage.

“I knew I was up against a very powerful celebrity but I wanted my voice heard,” he said. “Hopefully people will listen to my story. And look at the facts though a different lens.”

Gabe McFarland, Mueller’s lawyer, tried tirelessly to poke holes in Swift’s story – pointing to inconsistencies in testimony from the photographer who snapped the now-infamous frame, and the bodyguard, Greg Dent, who testified he saw Mueller grab Swift’s backside but did nothing in response.

“I take my cues from her in certain situations and she continued with the photos,” Dent said.

But Baldridge had his own set of advantages – there were several witnesses who testified they saw at least part of what happened, not to mention the photograph that Swift claimed captured the crime itself. The photo that Mueller describes as “awkward,” shows his arm behind Swift’s backside, though it’s unclear if it’s touching.

“The biggest difficulty for both sides was dealing with the photograph and with the witness testimony,” said McFarland. “The witnesses were not consistent with Taylor’s story, but they all testified that something happened and I think the jury struggled with that.”

In this sketch by courtroom artist Jeff Kandyba, pop singer Taylor Swift, left, looks on a former radio host David Mueller, background right, speaks during the trial.

By the time the jury had a verdict, Mueller could see the writing on the wall.

“It wasn’t a good feeling, but I was not surprised. I could tell the trial wasn’t going smoothly,” he said.

In a civil case, the standard of justice is not “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it’s a lower standard: “preponderance of the evidence.” In this case, that means the jury found it’s more likely than not Mueller assaulted and battered Taylor Swift.

Seeking to clear his name

In court, Mueller was seeking a cash payout for damages from Swift. Long before trial, Mueller was looking for a settlement but not in cash. Mueller wanted a written letter from Swift’s side, acknowledging that he didn’t do