Taylor Swift Asked A Gender Studies Professor To Be An Expert Witness In Her Sexual Assault Trial

Taylor Swift Asked A Gender Studies Professor To Be An Expert Witness In Her Sexual Assault Trial

Aside from working on her new album, being the subject of Harry Styles songs (probably), staying out of the spotlight and recovering from the famous "Famous" incident, Taylor Swift has also been embroiled in a legal battle against her alleged assailant, Colorado DJ David Mueller. In 2015, Mueller sued Swift for defamation after she accused him of putting his hand up her skirt and groping her at a meet and greet in 2013. Mueller denied the incident happened, saying there might have been an accidental brush but no full on grab (a leaked photo that appears to capture Mueller's ambiguous hand position circulated online shortly after). Mueller claims that Swift's accusations caused him to lose his job.

Swift decided to countersue for battery and assault, and in an interesting move brought on University of Colorado gender studies professor Lorraine Bayard de Volo as an expert in the case. De Volo wrote an opinion about Mueller's behavior for the court, essentially saying that his masculinity was so crushed by Swift's giving more attention to his girlfriend than to the DJ himself that he lashed out and assaulted the superstar.

In Mr. Mueller's description of the events, though Ms. Swift was cold and standoffish with him, she had a positive rapport with Ms. Melcher that included hugging and compliments. Mr. Mueller said that he felt "invisible" in the shadow of his girlfriend... Given that idealized masculinity entails dominance, leadership, authority, and assertiveness, this encounter would register as a blow to his sense of masculinity.

Mueller's team filed a motion to bar the testimony, saying that de Volo is unqualified to offer her opinion because she doesn't have a psychology degree and has never met Mueller. For her part, Swift reportedly plans to donate any proceedings from the lawsuit to "charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard."

[h/t Jezebel]

Image via BFA