Radio host denies groping Taylor Swift
A DJ accused of groping pop star Taylor Swift during a photo shoot has testified he innocently made physical contact with the singer as they posed together but denied any inappropriate behaviour.
Taking the witness stand in Denver, Colorado, on their duelling lawsuits' first day at trial, radio personality David Mueller said Swift's allegations, which he emphatically denied, "cost me my career, my passion, my income".
Mueller, 55, who was fired from his job at radio station KYGO-FM over Swift's accusations, insisted the case he brought against Swift was about more than just the loss of his livelihood and money.
"I want to clear my name," he said.
"It's a humiliating experience to be accused of something so despicable."
The US District Court jury is weighing Mueller's false-accusation claim against Swift's cross complaint alleging assault and battery.
Swift says Mueller slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her bare buttocks as the two posed, along with Mueller's girlfriend, before a June 2013 concert in Denver.
"It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life," Swift, 27, said in a deposition.
Expected to take the stand herself during the trial, Swift listened intently to Mueller's testimony on Tuesday, with her mother, Andrea, seated beside her.
Mueller told the jury he might have made contact with the side of Swift's body or brushed her arm and hand but he did not grab her backside.
He said he had no inkling anything was amiss until approached later by Swift's security team.
In his opening statement, Swift's lawyer, J Douglas Baldridge, said Mueller had assaulted his client and was now targeting her for money and fame.
Mueller's lawyer, Gabriel McFarland, showed a picture from the photo shoot and said his client's hand was not under Swift's skirt.
"Let's be clear, inappropriate touching is offensive ... Falsely accusing is equally offensive and it's equally wrong," he said.© AP 2017 Image Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File