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Taylor Swift Wins Suit Against Groping DJ—Hopes to Use Privilege to Help Other Women Defend Themselves

After a two year legal battle and four years after the initial groping incident, Taylor Swift has won her lawsuit against Denver DJ David “Jackson” Mueller and was awarded her $1.

This week, we heard all about Swift’s matter-of-fact responses to questions during the case that were designed to discredit in the way that women are often discredited when they accuse anyone of sexual assault. Swift did not back down, not only making sure that she made her statements as accurate as possible, but making sure the opposing side knew that she recognized the ways in which they were trying to get her to slip, or make her look incompetent.

We were annoyed, however, that while Mueller eventually was unable to sue Swift, he was still able to bring a case against her mother for “tortious interference with prospective business relations,” A.K.A. standing up for her daughter and letting an alleged groper’s place of employment know that their employee did something terrible.

Still, Swift’s suit continued, and yesterday it only took a jury three hours to decide that Mueller was full of crap, and that Swift should emerge victorious, with her symbolic $1 ask proof that she was not doing this for financial gain, but on principle. Because no woman should be non-consensually touched or grabbed the way a younger Swift was by this radio personality.

In a statement about the victory, Swift recognized the fact that the myriad of privileges she has allowed her both the resources and the position of power from which she could effectively take this on over the long haul, and she understands that not everyone is able to do that. Swift says:

“I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”

It’s awesome that she went from being someone who wasn’t going to make this public at all, for fear it would tarnish her reputation, to someone who is using this very publicly to try and help others. I’m happy for Swift, and I’m looking forward to seeing her become an even stronger advocate for female victims of abuse, assault, and harassment, both within the entertainment industry and outside of it.

(via The Daily Dot, image: Tinseltown/Shutterstock)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.