Taylor Swift can't avoid videotaped deposition with accused groper in room
Taylor Swift will have to submit to a deposition that may be more uncomfortable than she would have preferred.
The pop star is battling in court with David Mueller, a former radio host who she alleges groped her during a 2013 meet and greet before a Denver concert. Mueller is suing her for slander while she's brought counterclaims alleging sexual assault and battery. The legal action is taking place in a Colorado federal court under some intense secrecy. Many of the court filings have been filed under seal.
According to judge's order on Thursday, however, Swift's attorneys brought an oral motion at a telephonic discovery hearing that in part aimed to stop her deposition from being videotaped. The judge denied that request.
Additionally, Swift was unsuccessful in prohibiting Mueller from attending the deposition. As a result, the man Swift accuses of groping her can be there as she recounts conduct that she characterized as "outrageous and humiliating" in court papers.
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It's not all bad news for Swift.
"Only an original videotape will be made of Ms. Swift's deposition," rules the judge. "The original videotape shall remain in the custody of Mr. Jesse Schaudies, Ms. Swift's business manager. Plaintiff's counsel must be provided reasonable access to the videotape."
The videotaped deposition would thus only become public if there's a trial, though excerpts of transcripts could appear in summary motion papers. Until then, it will be under a protective order that will also limit what attorneys for both parties can say about the case.
In past years, a number of celebrities including Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke have suffered unflattering headlines after videos of depositions were released. Swift might have wished to avoid something like that happening. Last August, in a separate lawsuit involving trademarks, Swift furiously attempted to avoid giving a deposition, and after a judge ordered it, the case settled. None of those other lawsuits, though, involved depositions in the presence of alleged sexual offenders.