Demi Lovato once dragged Taylor Swift and her crew for their seemingly contrived, showboaty feminism: “Don’t brand yourself a feminist if you don’t do the work,” said the “Body Say” star. Lovato recently told Glamour that she takes issue with all of Swift’s anointed #squad members being tall and thin, and thus perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards. While Lovato does have a point, in a year that’s seen Gigi Hadid single-elbowedly fend off an assailant and T.Swift continue her emotionally taxing, drawn-out prosecution of Denver radio DJ David Mueller (the man who allegedly groped her behind during a 2013 pre-show meet-and-greet), we’d say the squad is doing its due diligence.
Gigi Hadid, who notably did not press charges against her attacker Vitalii Sediuk, instead took to Lenny Letter “to use what happened to [her] to show that it’s everyone’s right, and it can be empowering, to be able to defend yourself.” Taylor, meanwhile, is fighting the good fight in the public court system, but on the (relative) low.
On Friday, October 21, a judge ruled to keep photos — the staging of which Mueller supposedly used as an opportunity to violate Taylor — from the public. After all, in the age of memes, “it is all but assured that the photograph will be shared for scandalous and prurient interests,” to quote Taylor’s lawyers.
In spite of Taylor’s wish to withhold other details of the case from the public, the transcript of her July 26 deposition about the incident is now available for all to digest. It reads as follows:
“Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek and no matter how much I scooted over it was still there,” Swift recounted, emphasizing, “It was completely intentional, I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.”
“I remember being frantic, distressed, feeling violated in a way I had never experienced before,” Swift continued. “A meet-and-greet is supposed to be a situation where you’re thanking people for coming, you’re supposed to be welcoming people into your home, which is the arena for that day, and for someone to violate that hospitality in that way, I was completely stunned.”
In 2015, Mueller countersued Swift for slander, saying that, while he may have touched Swift accidentally, the offending hand belonged to his former boss. (Mueller was dismissed from his job at KYGO radio after Swift’s initial accusation.) Taylor, not to be cowed, countersued him for assault and battery. In an expression of solidarity and monetary support for victims of sexual assault, Taylor, like Amber Heard before her, has vowed to put any money she wins towards charitable organizations that help protect women from sexual assault. The PR goddess hopes to settle the case before it goes to trial and absolve herself of any claim that she directly caused Mueller’s termination or slandered him in any way.
It’s important for victims of sexual assault to hear that public figures like Taylor are capable of the same feelings of helplessness. It’s therefore disconcerting that Taylor would want to hide her very real and compelling testimony. Does she not recognize its significance? We’d be interested to hear her reasoning. Perhaps she feels it’s best to hide the details of the case from the media until it’s been settled, so as to keep public opinion out of the courtroom?
Demi Lovato, Belle Hooks — care to weigh in on whether Taylor Swift can call herself a feminist now?
[ via Billboard ]