Taylor Swift marked the first anniversary of her sexual assault trial on stage during her concert in Tampa, Florida, where she told fans how it felt to have a jury rule in her favor.
"Looking back, this exact day a year ago, I was not playing a sold-out stadium in Tampa," Swift told the crowd on Wednesday. "I was in a courtroom in Denver, Colorado. I was there for a sexual assault case, and this day a year ago was the day the jury sided in my favor and said that they believed me." She thanked her fans for sticking by her during a "really, really horrible" part of her life.
Swift's trial started in early August last year, after former DJ David Mueller groped the singer during a backstage meet-and-greet in 2013. "Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek, and no matter how much I scooted over it was still there," Swift said in her pretrial deposition. "It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life."
What spurred the trial, however, wasn't Swift's allegations against Mueller, but a lawsuit Mueller filed against Swift, her mother, and her manager for $3 million in damages. In the suit, Mueller alleged that Swift and her team had gotten him fired from his job at KYGO radio when they informed his employers of the groping incident.
Swift brought a countersuit against Mueller for assault and battery and took him to trial, where a jury ruled that Mueller would have to pay Swift $1 in damages—a symbolic amount she requested to emphasize that her case wasn't about money, but about setting an example that sexual assault cannot be tolerated.
"I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society, and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this," Swift said in a statement when the trial concluded. "My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."
Last month, Mueller told Radar Online that Swift "ruined" his life with the trial, claiming that his life is "totally screwed up" now. "Now I’m afraid to even talk to women," Mueller told the site. "I feel like I’m in a prison. I’m not myself anymore. I don’t even go near women.”
Sitting at the piano on stage at her concert Wednesday, Swift said she feels fortunate that the jury deciding her case didn't side with Mueller's account of what happened in 2013.
"I just think about all the people that weren't believed, or the people who haven't been believed, or the people who are afraid to speak up because they don't think they will be believed," Swift said. "And I just want to say that I'm sorry to everyone who ever wasn't believed because I don't know what turn my life would have taken if people hadn't believed in me when I said that something happened."