Time has taken a bold approach with their Person of the Year for 2017 and named all the individuals who have come forward with their experience with sexual assault and harassment, particularly against Harvey Weinstein, as their notable honorees.
From actors, singers, hospital workers, and folks in between, the magazine's take on the group (dubbed "The Silence Breakers") also features Taylor Swift following her August court appearance, where she testified in a lawsuit by former radio DJ David Mueller. Legal drama surrounded a meet and greet appearance when the personality apparently reached under her skirt and grabbed her bottom.
Back in August, the judge overseeing the lawsuit determined that the pop icon "did not act improperly" by reporting Mueller’s alleged groping during a 2013 M&G session before her Denver concert. Moreso, the judge declared that there was insufficient evidence that Swift was responsible for his firing from country station KYGO-FM, which took place just two days after the incident.
Now, months later, Swift has opened up about the experience in a five-question interview, detailing the experience. "I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance," she said. "It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know. The radio station conducted its own investigation and fired him. Two years later, he sued me."
Later on, she admitted that she was so angry that she decided to flip the script on Mueller's team. "When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man's attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over inane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying," Swift said. "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."
"I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom -- why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word “ass” has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court," she continued.
As for her advice to young fans and victims who have experienced assault, Swift wanted to assure them that there is no need for self-blame. "I would tell people who find themselves in this situation that there is a great deal of blame placed on the victims in cases of sexual harassment and assault," she said. "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."
Radio DJ David Mueller groped Taylor Swift during a photo op in 2013. She reported him to his radio station, KYGO, and he was terminated. He said her accusations were false and sued Swift. She countersued for $1 and won. "When I testified, I had already had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team, including my mother … I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me … Why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ass has ever been said in Colorado federal court." (Mueller’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) @taylorswift is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Millions of people responded with the hashtag #MeToo when Alyssa Milano urged them to post their experiences on Twitter. "It’s affected me on a cellular level to hear all these stories. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I have not stopped crying. I look at my daughter and think, Please, let this be worth it. Please, let it be that my daughter never has to go through anything like this.” @milano_alyssa is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Susan Fowler’s February blog post about the harassment she experienced as an engineer at @uber went viral. Uber then launched an investigation that led to the ousting of its CEO Travis Kalanick and more than 20 other employees. "When other women spoke out, they were retaliated against. So there were certain things that I thought I could avoid: 'I'm not going to sue, because they'll make me sign a nondisclosure agreement. I'm not going to do press right afterward, because they'll say I’m doing it for attention. I can’t have any emotion in my blog. I have to be very, very detached.' And I had to make sure that every single thing that I included in there had extensive physical documentation, so it couldn’t be 'he said, she said.' And that's what I did." @susanthesquark is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
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