NEW YORK: Pop superstar Taylor Swift has demanded a trial in the case of a radio host she accuses of groping her, saying she hopes to stand up for other women who have been assaulted.
The singer asked for the trial in a legal counterclaim against David Mueller, who last month sued the singer saying he was wrongly dismissed from his job at a Denver radio station over the June 2013 incident.
In the original lawsuit, Mueller said that Swift’s bodyguards and staff “verbally abused” him as they accused the radio host of fondling the singer while posing for a picture backstage before her show at a Denver arena.
But in the response filed Wednesday in a Denver court, Swift said that Mueller was clearly the culprit, and accused him of reaching under her skirt and touching her in an “intimate” place.
“Ms Swift was forced to begin a several-hour long concert in front of 13,000 fans still distressed that she had been so inappropriately touched,” the legal filing said.
The counterclaim said that Swift, then 23, felt especially uncomfortable as the radio host was much larger than her at 6-foot-3 (1.9 meters) and more than 200 pounds (90 kilograms).
Swift requested a jury trial seeking punitive damages from Mueller, saying that any money awarded would be donated to charitable groups that protect women.
A verdict against Mueller “will serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” the counterclaim said.
Swift said that she has held thousands of similar meet-and-greet events for fans and radio-station personnel throughout her career and “she has been inappropriately groped one time — by Mueller.”
Mueller’s lawyers did not immediately respond to the counterclaim.
In the original lawsuit, Mueller acknowledged an incident took place but blamed it on one of his colleagues, who he said had boasted to him of grabbing Swift’s bottom while taking a picture.
Mueller’s lawsuit said that KYGO-FM, a country-music station, fired him two days later after Swift’s camp warned of action unless the station “handled” the radio host.