Good news for Taylor Swift in her legal battle with the Denver radio host who’s suing her, claiming she caused him to lose his job after she accused him of groping her backstage at a concert.
A federal judge has agreed to a request from Taylor’s legal team to sanction the host, David Mueller, for destroying a number of electronic devices that contained key evidence in the case, according to the Denver Post.
The key evidence was a secretly-recorded two-hour audio file of Mueller’s conversation with his boss on June 3, 2013, the day before he was fired. Mueller saved that recording, or parts of it, on a cell phone, laptop, iPad and office computer, all of which he later threw away or destroyed.
U.S District Judge William Martinez ruled Wednesday that because Mueller is seeking up to $3 million in damages from Taylor, “It is very hard to understand how he spent so little time and effort to preserve the very evidence which — one might think — could have helped him to prove his claims.”
However, Martinez also ruled that Mueller didn’t “intentionally” destroy the evidence, and so didn’t impose the harshest sanctions possible. Still, the ruling allows Taylor’s lawyers to question Mueller in court about the recording and its subsequent destruction. The jury can then decide Mueller’s motivation for themselves.
“In this case, where the Plaintiff’s credibility is critical to his claims, allowing cross-examination regarding his [destruction] of evidence….is therefore quite a heavy sanction,” wrote the judge.
Mueller sued Taylor in 2015, saying she “falsely” accused him of groping her before a June 2013 concert in Denver. She counter-sued in 2015, saying he waited too long to file suit, and insisted that Mueller did, indeed, lift her skirt and grope her.
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