Taylor Swift's rare interview about her sexual assault trial


Time magazine has announced that their Person of the Year honours this year go to the "Silence Breakers", people (mostly women) who the magazine says are the voices that launched the #MeToo movement.

Featured on the cover of the magazine alongside strawberry picker Isabel Pascual, lobbyist Adama Iwu, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and actress/Harvey Weinstein whistle blower Ashley Judd was Taylor Swift, who herself endured a public sexual assault trial in August this year against radio DJ David Mueller.

Swift had alleged radio DJ David Mueller reached under her skirt and grabbed her butt while she posed for a picture with him at a meet-and-greet 2013. Mueller was fired after Taylor reported him to his company privately but he brought about a defamation suit.

Taylor powerfully counter-sued. Throughout the trail she testified that Mueller did assault her and claimed he should be held accountable "to serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts." She won.

Now the singer has spoken to Time reporter Eliana Dockterman and detailed for the first time how she found the court process "demoralising", and how she leaned on Kesha for support.

"When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man's attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over inane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying," Swift said of taking the stand. "My mum was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand."

Taylor's frank testimony made headlines. During the trial when she was asked why her skirt didn't look wrinkled in the front-facing photo with Muller, she replied, "Because my ass is located at the back of my body." Swift also testified that she was certain no one else could have possibly grabbed her: "He had a handful of my ass. I know it was him."

Swift now explains she had her reasons for not bending over backwards and being genteel on the stand.

Discussing her blunt courtroom demeanor Taylor said: "I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn't considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn't hold back on my mum -- why should I be polite? I'm told it was the most amount of times the word "ass" has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court."

The 27-year-old says she was buoyed by fellow musician Kesha, who had her own very public sexual assault lawsuit against producer Dr Luke (real name is Lukasz Sebastian "Luke" Gottwald) in 2014.

"I spoke to [Kesha] on the phone and It really helped to talk to someone who had been through the demoralising court process," Swift said.

Taylor was awarded a symbolic $1 from Muller but says he's never given her the money.

"To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself," Swift said.