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Judge throws out DJ’s case against Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift at the Grammys
Image: Taylor Swift is said to have hugged her legal team after hearing the judge’s ruling

A US judge has dismissed allegations that Taylor Swift got a radio DJ fired, but court proceedings will continue to consider the singer’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her.

David Mueller has accused Swift of slandering him to his radio station, alleging her complaint led to his unfair dismissal.

Swift is counter-suing Mueller in the civil case, alleging he groped her during a 2013 backstage photo op with fans and guests before a concert in 2013.

US District Judge William Martinez ruled that Swift could not be held liable because Mueller failed to prove that she personally set out to have him fired.

He agreed with Swift’s attorney, who had filed a motion asking for the pop star to be dropped from Mueller’s lawsuit, saying his case should have been against his Colorado radio station.

Swift was happy to hear the judge’s ruling in court, hugging members of her legal team.

The court illustration of the pop star bore only a passing resemblance to the singer
Image: The court illustration of the pop star bore only a passing resemblance to the singer

Mr Martinez said the eight-person jury will make a decision on Swift’s claim that she was groped.

The panel will also consider allegations from Mueller that Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, and her radio manager, Frank Bell, contributed to him losing his job.

Swift’s attorney Doug Baldridge had argued there was no evidence the singer herself took any action that harmed Mueller.

“A man grabbed her rear end. She told her mother, and that’s it,” Mr Baldridge said.

Earlier Friday, Swift’s former bodyguard Greg Dent testified that he witnessed the singer’s skirt being flipped up as she posed for a photo with Mueller and his girlfriend.

Taylor Swift

:: Swift’s bodyguard ‘saw DJ’s hand under skirt’

Mr Dent, a former police officer, said in his testimony: “I saw his hand under her skirt… Her skirt went up… She jumped.”

Swift spent an hour on the witness stand on Thursday, defiantly recounting what she called a “despicable and horrifying and shocking” encounter.

“He stayed attached to my bare ass-cheek as I lurched away from him,” she said.

“It was a definite grab. A very long grab.”

Mueller gave evidence on Tuesday to say he may have made innocent physical contact with Swift, but insisted he did not grope her.

Asked if he grabbed her backside, he replied: “No, I did not.”




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    Heinz-Christian Strache
    Image: The FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache is tipped to be deputy chancellor

    Austria is set to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government.

    The head of the conservative People’s Party (OVP), Sebastian Kurz, has struck a coalition deal with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).

    The FPO will take charge of the foreign, interior and defence ministries, among others, while its leader, 48-year-old Heinz-Christian Strache, will be deputy chancellor.

    Mr Kurz, 31, will be the youngest leader in Europe. His OVP will run ministries including finance and justice.

    When the OVP won Austria’s election on 15 October it did so with a hard line on immigration – a policy which often overlapped with that of the FPO.

    The FPO was third, taking 26% of the vote.

    “Nobody has anything to fear,” said the FPO’s secretary general and Austria’s next interior minister, Herbert Kickl.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Sebastian Kurz says he wants to increase security and combat illegal immigraton

    Mr Kurz held a joint news conference with Mr Strache and told reporters: “Our aims are quite clear.

    “We want to ease the tax burden for people, we want to strengthen our economy, which will bolster our social system.”

    Mr Kurz, known as ‘wunderwuzzi’ or ‘whizz-kid’, added: “And first and foremost we want to increase security in our country, including by combating illegal immigration.”

    While Mr Kurz has said his administration will be pro-European, both he and Mr Strache have expressed doubts about further social integration.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Mr Kurz, 31, is Europe’s youngest leader

    The two men presented their agreement to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, a former Greens leader who narrowly beat the FPO in a presidential vote in 2015.

    Mr Van der Bellen, who has the right to reject ministers, has said a new government could be sworn in early next week if everything went to plan.

    Following their meeting, Mr Van der Bellen said they had agreed it was in Austria’s “national interest” to remain at the “centre of a strong European Union”.

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    The FPO’s success mirrors that of similar parties across Europe. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party is now the second-largest in the Netherlands, the Front National in France was involved in a run-off for the presidency in May and representatives from Germany’s AfD have entered the Bundestag.

    When the FPO was last in government, under the late Joerg Haider, other EU countries imposed sanctions on Vienna in protest.

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