It's been four months since Taylor Swift won a landmark court victory and a symbolic $1 in the case of whether an ex-radio DJ grabbed her rear end in 2013. So what's happened since then?
For one, Swift pledged money to charities for sexual assault victims. And then there was the massive #MeToo movement spurred by women who came forward in October to allege that Harvey Weinstein and many others committed sexual assault. In the midst of all that, Swift's album Reputation came out in November.
In an interview with Time, which named Swift as one of the "Silence Breakers" honored as Person of the Year, the pop star says in her own words what that experience was like, and explains the aftermath of her case. It's her first interview since she gave a blunt, lauded testimony about being groped by former DJ David Mueller during a meet-and-greet.
"I was angry," Swift told Time about how she felt the day she testified. "My mom was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand. ... In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened," she said. "I’m told it was the most amount of times the word 'ass' has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court."
Swift said prepping for the case and testifying was draining, hard and confusing to some people who didn't realize she was the defendant in the case. The pop star said she chatted with Kesha, a musician who's had a long legal battle with alleged abuser Dr. Luke, about her situation, and it "really helped to talk to someone who had been through the demoralizing court process," Swift said.
Swift's words of wisdom for those dealing with their own assault experience: Don't blame yourself.
"You could be blamed for the fact that it happened, for reporting it and blamed for how you reacted. You might be made to feel like you’re overreacting, because society has made this stuff seem so casual. My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you."
Swift said that "this moment is important for awareness," but even "though awareness is higher than ever about workplace sexual harassment, there are still so many people who feel victimized, afraid and silenced by their abusers and circumstances."
And, by the way, that $1 that the court awarded Swift in her case? "To this day (my abuser) has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself," she said.
Here's the complete interview.
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