A photo that both Taylor Swift and the Denver DJ accused of groping her, David Mueller, petitioned a judge to keep secret, was leaked online by TMZ on Saturday (12Nov16).
The picture, labeled Exhibit 14 in the joint petition was described as being, "Extremely personal and sensitive in nature”. The petition filed last month (14Oct16) further requested that the image “Should not be shared with the public until absolutely necessary (at trial).” Both parties noted, “It is all but assured that the photograph will be shared for scandalous and prurient interests" that would potentially influence a jury in the case which is yet to receive a start date.
The photo itself shows Taylor standing close to Mueller's girlfriend Shannon Melcher, while the right hand of David Mueller is behind Swift but not visible.
The dueling lawsuits date back to 10 September, 2015, when the DJ sued Swift for lost wages after he was fired from his position after Swift accused him of grabbing her bottom during a meet and greet at Denver’s Pepsi Center on June 2 (2015). Mueller noted that his annual salary was $150,000. Swift then countersued the DJ last October (15), alleging the assault.
Both parties insist that the photograph proves their case. According to CNN, Mueller’s own lawsuit states: “The contention that Mr. Mueller lifted up Ms. Swift’s skirt and grabbed her bottom, while standing with his girlfriend, in front of Ms. Swift’s photographer and Ms. Swift’s highly trained security personnel, during a company sponsored, VIP, backstage meet-and-greet, is nonsense, particularly given that Ms. Swift’s skirt is in place and is not being lifted by Mr. Mueller’s hand in the photograph.”
In a video deposition given by Swift in Nashville in July (16), she alleged that the DJ "reached up under my skirt and grabbed my ass right when I was having to pose for a photo. As soon as he grabbed my ass, I became shocked and withdrawn and was barely able to say, 'Thanks for coming,' which is what I say to everybody.”
Swift further noted, ”It was like somebody switched the lights off in my personality."
The photo leak occurred just two days after an alleged stalker of Swift's, Frank Andrew Hoover, was arrested in Austin, Texas, following a 22 October (16) incident when he tried to pursue the singer following her concert in the city.
Hours ahead of the photo leak, Swift was spotted leaving the Arclight Movie Theater in Hollywood, California on Friday evening (11Nov16) after she and her mother Andrea, friends Este and Alana Haim and other pals had reportedly seen the new film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk starring Kristen Stewart.
Neither party has yet commented on the photo leak.