1:58pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Taylor Swift's Promise of Charity in Groping Lawsuit Knocked as PR Stunt
The guy Taylor Swift is targeting as her alleged groper is fighting back against the pop superstar's complaint of sexual assault and battery. On Tuesday, former KYGO radio host David Mueller demanded that Swift's court filing last month be stricken as a violation of civil-law procedure.
"The allegations are nothing more than a public-relations maneuver, asserted to sensationalize defendant’s counterclaim, garner favorable media attention and, ultimately, taint potential jurors," Mueller's attorney told the judge.
Mueller was first to court, with the claim that he was terminated unfairly from his job after an incident in May 2013.
At a backstage meet-and-greet that month at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Mueller and others got a few minutes with Swift. There, she apparently was groped. Mueller said that KYGO program director Eddie Haskell admitted to putting hands on her bottom. Swift's team blamed Mueller, and eventually, the radio host was fired from the station.
In reaction to a tortious interference claim, Swift stuck hard to her story that Mueller was the culprit.
"Mueller’s newfound claim that he is the 'wrong guy' and, therefore, his termination from KYGO was unjustified, is specious," stated the counterclaim. "Ms. Swift knows exactly who committed the assault — it was Mueller — and she is not confused in the slightest about whether her long-term business acquaintance, Mr. Haskell, was the culprit."
Mueller isn't responding directly to this just yet. (In any case, he's already denied it.)
Instead, he attacked a rather peculiar element of Swift's court papers, which ended up being first reported by People, a publication not exactly known for breaking legal news.
In the counterclaims, Swift had said that "any recovery obtained by Ms. Swift will be donated to charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard."
Mueller responded that this was "entirely collateral, impertinent and immaterial to her claims for assault and battery" and said he wants it removed.
He's already scored one change in Swift's counterclaim.
The pop singer originally demanded punitive and exemplary damages, which Swift's lawyer now has acknowledged is a violation of a Colorado law that restricts such a prayer in the initial claim. Swift's attorney has withdrawn a request for punitive damages for now, telling the court that she'll resurface that demand at a later stage.