A judge on Friday threw out a Denver radio host’s case against Taylor Swift in a trial that delved into their dueling lawsuits over whether he groped her backstage before a concert and whether she and her team ruined his career.
The case revealed a Kansas City connection this week when the radio host, David Mueller, testified that he once worked at local radio station KRBZ, 96.5 The Buzz.
In 2013, at the time of the alleged incident involving Swift at Denver’s Pepsi Center, Mueller was the co-host of the Denver country music station KYGO’s “Ryno and Jackson” show. He was Jackson.
The station fired him two days later after Swift’s staff called Mueller’s boss to tell him about it. Swift alleges Mueller stuck his hand under her dress and grabbed her buttocks during a photo op, which he denied in court this week.
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Swift did not say anything publicly about the incident until Mueller sued her in 2015 for $3 million in damages, claiming her false accusations cost him his job. She countersued, accusing him of assault and battery.
U.S. District Judge William Martinez determined that the pop star could not be held liable because Mueller failed to prove that she personally set out to have him fired. His identical allegations against Swift’s mother and her radio liaison will still go to jurors for a verdict.
On Wednesday, Mueller, 55, testified that he was fired from two previous jobs as well, according to the Denver Post.
He testified he was fired from KDWB in Minneapolis seven years before he took the job in Denver. And he mentioned a job in Kansas City at KBRZ.
He testified he was fired “without cause” and that KRBZ bought out his contract. KRBZ did not answer The Star’s requests for comment.
Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge, asked about the Kansas City job when the line of questioning turned to Mueller’s work history, the Denver Post reported.
Mueller maintains that he couldn’t find a job at a top 20 market radio station after Swift’s accusation and the Denver station fired him.
Baldridge asked if being fired in Kansas City could have hurt his chances of getting a job.
“Theoretically, it could,” Mueller answered, according to the Post.
Baldridge referenced Mueller’s testimony from a sworn deposition in which Mueller said being fired in Kansas City had hurt his career. “I can’t imagine it didn’t,” he said in the deposition.
Swift said in her countersuit that she wanted a symbolic $1 and the chance to stand up for other women.
Includes reporting by The Associated Press.