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Taylor Swift on Her Decision to Testify Against Her Assailant: “Why Should I Be Polite?”

Taylor Swift’s court case earlier this year against groping radio DJ David Mueller not only took the news by storm, but Swift subtly dug at the former host in her “Look What You Made Me Do” video, soaking in a tub filled with jewels and the one dollar she won in the case against him.


Mueller originally sued Swift for $3.4 million in a defamation suit after the “Bad Blood” singer called the former Colorado DJ out for grabbing her backside during a photo op in 2013. When 27-year-old Swift countersued for a symbolic dollar, the court case became one of the most watched of the year. Just weeks pre-Weinstein, Swift wasn’t afraid to speak out against the man, who grabbed her repeatedly under the skirt on her bare bottom, and her fierceness and frankness on the stand made headlines.

“My mom was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand,” Swift told TIME. “I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened.”

Swift goes on to talk about how Mueller didn’t consider “formalities” while grabbing her, so she decided to be blunt on the stand, adding, “his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom — why should I be polite?”

Swift also admits that leading up to the case, news outlets weren’t giving the songwriter a fair shake, and that on her first day in a Denver courtroom, there was an audible gasp from the gallery — spectators assumed it was Swift suing the DJ for millions, and were surprised to hear her named as the defendant, not just plaintiff.

As for Swift’s advice to fans in the aftermath of her trial, she wants those who are abused to know that it’s fine for them to come to terms with their assault at their own pace. “[Do] not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you,” she says.

“You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.”

As for the future, Swift feels strongly that the moment we’re in, while important, isn’t over yet. In the end, she brings it back to Mueller, and her legal winnings: That lone dollar a Denver court ordered her abuser to pay her has yet to materialize.

“To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic [of where we still have to go] in itself.”

What do you think of Taylor Swift’s symbolic court win? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)

Kat Armstrong
Kat has been a writer, social media maven and mom for longer than she's willing to admit. She's also spent time in front of and behind the camera, interviewing celebs, politicians and acting as a producer for fashion and artistic photography shoots. When she isn't writing for various orgs and publications, she's hanging with her kids, husband and French Bulldog, Peter, in Toronto, Canada.

Ahhh, fall. There are so many things to love about this time of year (give us ALL the sweaters and pumpkin-flavored eats). But, high on the list comes autumn decor candles, throws, textiles — you name it. Of course, buying items and actually adding them to your room are two different things. So we're turning to Instagram for the best styling advice and inspo for the season. Scroll on to see everything you need to get those wheels turning!

@sbkliving: Sometimes, it only takes a chic doormat to transition your front steps for the season. Hello, fall!

@rachelpuccetti: Excuse us while we spend an entire lazy Sunday relaxing in this fall-infused space.

@farmhousetofrills: A monochrome mantel never looked so chic. (That fireplace pumpkin setup is seriously *genius*.)

@faith_hope_home: Greet guests with a fall-themed entrance to set the tone for a day of pumpkin carving or scary movie marathoning.

@simplysoutherncottage: Don't forget about those nooks and crannies! This entryway/mudroom situation is capturing our little harvest-loving hearts.

@6thirtydecor: Speaking of pumpkins, pick up a few extra gourds to pave the way into your cozy autumn abode.

@farmsteadonfirst: That guest bedroom you weren't sure what to do with it? Transform it into a rustic retreat with some fall signage and mustard-yellow and green accents.

@fiddleleafinteriors: We're going to take a second to *swoon* over this adorable kitchen setup. Those farmhouse accents and simple centerpiece setup? We're in love.

@ohmydearblog: Contrary to what you think, florals *aren't* just for spring. Bring them into your abode by selecting buds in moody tones to pay homage to the season.

@simply.mrs.z: Drawn to modern style? Play up the Halloween vibes by picking black, orange and brass accents to rock on places like your bookshelf. (Bonus points for carrying the theme over to your textiles.)

@drivewaytodreams_crystal: We're going to go ahead and give two thumbs up to all of these orange-hued accents. Backdropped with a neutral furnishings and they truly *pop*!

@cripcollectiveig: For those who don't want to go overboard with the "fall stuff" this one will speak to you. Compile a couple of cute throws and a minimalist pumpkin print on your mantle and you're set

@cavcottage: Who said fun pillows were limited to furnishings only? We're ALL about this entry display.

@houseon77th: This daybed setup is a *dream*. But actually, this would be the perfect space to doze off in come the colder days.

@kristenforgione: For a more festive Halloween look, overhaul your living space with a spooky handmade addition like this one. *Googles paper bat DIYs.*