In 2015 Colorado DJ David Mueller sued Taylor Swift for defamation after she accused him of groping her at a meet and greet event back in 2013. Mueller denied it ever happened but alleged he had lost his job over the claims. Swift then countersued for battery and assault, and the trial is coming up in August.
For her case Swift has enlisted Lorraine Bayard de Volo, a professor of gender studies at the University of Colorado, who has written and submitted an opinion about Mueller’s behavior. In de Volo’s report she outlines the ways in which sexual assault is normalized behavior, and also analyzes Mueller’s defense throughout the trial, surmising that Mueller’s actions were the result of Swift not paying enough attention to him, thereby threatening the DJ’s sense of masculinity.
In the report, de Volo writes about how Swift was paying more attention to Mueller’s girlfriend:
In Mr. Mueller’s description of the events, though Ms. Swift was cold and standoffish with him, she had a positive rapport with Ms. Melcher that included hugging and compliments. Mr. Mueller said that he felt “invisible” in the shadow of his girlfriend... Given that idealized masculinity entails dominance, leadership, authority, and assertiveness, this encounter would register as a blow to his sense of masculinity.
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Mueller has filed a motion to bar this testimony, citing reasons such as the fact that de Yolo has never trained in psychology, has never been called as an expert witness, and has never met Mueller so can not claim he fits the description of someone who would likely commit sexual assault.
It’s an interesting move for Swift to bring on a gender studies professor for the trial, especially given her sort-of recent foray into feminism. She will also be reportedly donating any proceeds from her trial to “charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard.”