Sexual harassment is a big problem in the entertainment industry. Just ask Taylor Swift.
A radio host allegedly groped her then sued her. She's fighting back.
Statistics suggest that almost every woman has faced or will face sexual harassment, abuse, or unwanted touching during her lifetime.
That's an awful statistic. It means that each of us, no matter who we are, is affected by sexual assault right now. You. Me.
Even, and especially, Taylor Swift.
Last week, Swift sued David Mueller, a former Denver radio host.
She claims he groped her in June 2013, when they took a photo together at a pre-concert meet and greet.
According to a statement in Swift's legal filings, she was upset and distressed by the inappropriate encounter — not a great headspace to be in when you're about to perform a concert in front of over 10,000 fans.
Both Swift and Mueller remained quiet about the incident for more than two years.
But then Mueller filed a lawsuit against Swift a few months ago, claiming that he never touched her inappropriately. He blamed her for the loss of his job.
According to Mueller's lawsuit, he felt Swift's security team was too harsh when they confronted him that night, and he thinks he shouldn't have been fired. Mueller said Swift was mistaken when she said he touched her inappropriately and claimed it was actually Mueller's boss from the radio station who had groped her.
Legal scandals involving celebrities tend to get settled out of court because few people want bad press.
It can also be traumatizing to have the whole world talking about a painful experience you've had.
But although she hasn't commented on the issue publicly yet, Swift is fighting back against Mueller's claims in court, and she's not doing it quietly.
Last week, she countersued him, emphasizing that Mueller did lift up her skirt and grope her during the meet and greet that June.
“Ms. Swift knows exactly who committed the assault — it was Mueller," the lawsuit states, adding that Taylor knew Mueller's boss and would have known it was him if he had been the culprit.
Swift is also making it clear that her experience is part of a larger problem with how women are treated.
Her suit says that she wants to "serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts." And if she receives damages for the case, she said she's donating them to charitable organizations that are fighting sexual assault.
Swift isn't the only one who has had to fight sexual abuse in the music industry, either.
Kesha is currently caught up in a legal battle with her producer, Dr. Luke, who she says raped her repeatedly for years. The outcome of that case could jeopardize her career.
Lady Gaga also opened up about surviving sexual assault by someone in the music industry. And Dr. Dre apologized this year for assaulting women earlier in his career.
Sexual harassment, abuse, and assault is a huge problem, both in and out of the entertainment industry, and for both men and women. Kudos to Taylor Swift for using her position of power to add her voice to the conversation. For the rest of us — let's continue raising our voices, too.