It was one year ago this week that Taylor Swift was sitting in a courtroom in Denver, Colorado, waiting to find out whether she would win her assault and battery countersuit against radio DJ David Mueller. On August 14, 2017, a jury handed down the verdict that Mueller was guilty of groping Swift during a 2013 radio interview. Taking the stage on Tuesday night in Tampa, Florida, Swift observed the anniversary of her court victory by thanking her fans for their support and acknowledging those who have also come forward with their own sexual assault stories and not been believed.
Addressing her thousands of fans at the sold-out Raymond James Stadium stop on her Reputation Tour, a visibly emotional Swift said, “I just think about all the people that weren’t believed and the people who haven’t been believed, or the people who are afraid to speak up because they think they won’t be believed and I just wanted to say I’m sorry to anyone who ever wasn’t believed because I don’t know what turn my life would have taken if people didn’t believe me when I said that something had happened to me. So, I guess I just wanted to say that we have so, so, so much further to go, and I’m so grateful to you guys for being there for me during what was a really, really horrible part of my life.”
Taking a break from the high energy show, Swift kept her eyes on her piano as she thanked her loyal fan base for their unwavering support throughout the 2017 trial, which ended with an eight-person jury voting unanimously in Swift’s favour. “I wanted to thank you for everything, and I wanted to thank you for, I know that when I meet you guys at meet-and-greets before and after the shows you guys tell me about the hard times you’ve gone through in your lives and I really appreciate you trusting me with that information and you guys have seen me go through so many ups and downs in my life just due to the public nature of the way my life is and I wanted to say that I’m so happy to see you and to have you and to know you through the ups and the downs of my life, so thank you for everything,” said Swift.
Taylor Swift gets emotional as she talks about her sexual assault trial for the first time ever at her #repTourTampa show! 😭❤
“I’m sorry to whoever wasn’t believed. I don’t know what turn my life would have taken if people didn’t believe me!” pic.twitter.com/TFHpUgX7aq
— Music News Facts (@musicnewsfact) August 15, 2018
During Swift’s speech on Tuesday night, fans held up one-dollar bills, the amount that Swift was awarded in the case. Following the 2017 verdict, Swift’s attorney Douglas Baldridge addressed the court, saying “By returning a verdict on Ms. Swift’s counterclaim for a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation…You will tell every woman…that no means no.”
Following Swift’s win of the countersuit, the singer donated money to organizations that help sexual assault survivors, including Law And Order: SVU actor Mariska Hargitay’s The Joyful Heart Foundation.