Taylor Swift and Fired DJ Clash Over Expert Witnesses in Butt-Grope Lawsuit

“Shake it Off” singer says opinions of expert tapped by David Mueller “are not based on facts, and his analysis contains multiple fundamental errors”

Last Updated: May 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM

Taylor Swift and the DJ she accused of grabbing her bare rear end during a concert meet-and-greet are butting heads over the expert witnesses who can testify in the case.

Last week, both the “Shake It Off” singer and DJ David Mueller filed papers seeking to exclude expert witnesses for each other’s sides.

Swift’s legal team is seeking to exclude Mueller’s expert witness, economist Jeffrey B. Opp, from testifying about Mueller’s financial claims in his lawsuit against the singer. In court papers filed in federal court in Colorado on May 11, Swift’s team contends that Opp “lacks qualifications as an expert witness, his opinions are not based on facts, and his analysis contains multiple fundamental errors. He is simply not qualified to offer opinions about Mueller’s prospects for future employment as an on-air personality or his ‘value’ as an on-air radio personality.”

Among the alleged errors in Opp’s report, according to the court papers: “Mr. Opp assumed that Mueller would have worked for KYGO for ten to fifteen years, based on Plaintiff’s representations that he hoped to work that long, despite Plaintiff’s contract containing a two-year contract term (and checkered employment history). Based on that hope, in addition to two other random data points, Mr. Opp calculated four different possible ‘total losses’ amounts. Mr. Opp does not identify which of his possibilities is ‘correct,’ instead, he presents numerous options for a fact finder to decide between.”

Swift’s legal team also contends that Opp has freely admitted that he “has ‘absolutely’ no expertise in the radio industry and is not a vocational expert on the radio industry.”

Meanwhile, Mueller’s legal team also filed legal papers on Thursday seeking to exclude testimony from an expert witness tapped by Swift’s side.

In his own papers, Mueller seeks to block Lorraine Bayard de Volo “who has a PhD in political science and is a professor of women and gender studies.”

Mueller’s side argues that Bayard de Volo has no experience as an expert witness, and has no apparent in psychology, but nonetheless “intends to opine that Mr. Mueller had the profile of a person likely to sexually assault women.”

Mueller’s filing quotes Bayard de Volo’s report as stating, “Throughout David Mueller’s pleadings in this lawsuit and his deposition testimony, he indicated that even before he met Ms.Swift, he felt his job security was threatened, his identity as a radio personality was threatened, and his masculinity was threatened. This perfect storm of threats to Mr. Mueller’s perceived status is consistent with the well-settled, academically accepted, perceived threats to status that motivate a man to commit sexual harassment or assault.”

“Those opinions are not based on sufficient facts or data, are not otherwise credible or reliable, and are not admissible,” Mueller’s legal papers read, adding, “Ms. Bayard de Volo’s opinion that men who are worried about their jobs or receive threats to their masculinity are likely to commit sexual harassment or assault will not assist the trier of fact. There are millions of men who worry about their jobs or receive threats to their masculinity every day and who never sexually harass or assault women.”

Mueller sued Swift after being fired for allegedly “grabbing Ms. Swift’s bottom” at a meet-and-greet at Denver’s Pepsi Center in June 2013. The radio personality, who goes by the professional name “Jackson,” has adamantly denied the accusation.

Swift subsequently filed a countersuit against Mueller in October 2015.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.