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The DJ Who Was Ordered to Pay Taylor Swift $1 in Groping Case Thinks He Got the Last Laugh

Although Taylor Swift usually gets the last word, David Mueller—the radio DJ Swift countersued for groping her in a 2013 photo op—is determined to get the final dig at the singer after a judge mandated he pay her a symbolic $1.

Mueller told the Associated Press he mailed the artist a Sacagawea coin on Nov. 28. The choice of currency, which features the Native American woman responsible for leading Lewis and Clark through the Louisiana Territory, was a deliberate jab at Swift, according to Mueller. “I mean if this is all about women’s rights. … It’s a little poke at them, a little bit,” Mueller told the AP. “I mean, I think they made this into a publicity stunt, and this is my life.” The “publicity stunt” countersuit was in response to Mueller’s original lawsuit, in which he sought up to $3 million in damages after he was fired for groping Swift.

On Monday, the singer was named among the "Silence Breakers" who were honored as TIME’s Person of the Year, for coming forward about her experience with sexual assault.

“At the time, I was headlining a major arena tour and there were a number of people in the room that saw this plus a photo of it happening,” Swift explained in her interview with TIME. “I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance. It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know. The radio station conducted its own investigation and fired him. Two years later, he sued me.”

The countersuit proceedings were far from cordial. According to Swift, her mother was physically ill after being put on the stand and interrogated by Mueller’s legal team. When it was Taylor's turn to speak, she didn't hold back. The former DJ’s lawyer asked if she felt guilty for causing Mueller to lose his job, and the Reputation singer was not having any of the blame-shifting. “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,” she testified.

In her TIME interview, Swift said that Mueller had not yet paid the symbolic $1. Now that the debt has been settled, this case can continue to empower other victims of sexual harassment and assault to no longer feel guilty for the actions of others or for coming forward.

Kansas City native with a love for reading, writing, Julie Andrews, and tea.
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