Taylor Swift Talks to Tampa Fans About Sexual Assault and Her Denver Trial

Taylor Swift has broken her silence about sexual assault and her Denver trial.
Taylor Swift has broken her silence about sexual assault and her Denver trial. Aaron Thackeray
When Taylor Swift played Denver in May, fans were surprised that she didn't talk about her victory in a 2017 lawsuit against DJ David Mueller, who groped her at a meet-and-greet at the Pepsi Center in 2013. Last night, August 14, a year after a jury sided with Swift, the pop star spoke to a crowd in Tampa, Florida, about the case.

Playing piano, she offered a seemingly unscripted emotional account of the trial. "This exact day, a year ago, I was not playing a sold-out stadium in Tampa," she told the audience. "I was in a courtroom in Denver, Colorado, and honestly, I was there for a sexual-assault case, and this day a year ago was the day that the jury decided in my favor and said that they believed me."

Instead of focusing on her trial, she used her speech to talk about other people who have come forward with their own sexual-assault cases and those who are considering doing so.

"I just think about all the people that weren’t believed and people who haven’t been believed and the people who are afraid to speak up because they think they won’t be believed," she said. "And I just wanted to say that I’m sorry to anyone who ever wasn’t believed, because I don’t know what turn my life would take if people didn’t believe me when I said that something had happened to me. "

She noted society has a long way to go when it comes to addressing sexual assault, and expressed her gratitude to fans who have supported her through her struggles and who have shared their stories with her.

Swift's case wrapped up months before the #MeToo movement dominated the headlines. In January, news broke that Mueller had left Denver for a job deejaying at Mississippi radio station 92.7 KIX.

The singer concluded her speech in Tampa by acknowledging the trial is something she's been largely silent on.

"You’ve seen me going through so many ups and downs of my life just due to the public nature of the way my life is," she said. "I just wanted to say I’m so happy to see you and to have you and to know you through the ups and downs of my life. So thank you for everything. ... Sorry, I just haven’t really talked about it, and I’m just really not composed at all."
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris