Taylor Swift’s former bodyguard was standing just a few feet away from the pop star, former DJ David Mueller and his then-girlfriend during a June 2, 2013 meet-and-greet at the Pepsi Center that’s become the center of a legal battle more than four years later.
Greg Dent, a self-professed man of few words, took the stand Friday morning in the fourth day of what’s expected to be a nine-day trial at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver.
He painted Swift as a star who was devoted to her fans -- perhaps too much so, according to Dent.
“I was always of the opinion she was too fan-friendly,” Dent said. “She would stop for them under any circumstances. Too fan-friendly for me.”
More than two years after the meet-and-greet, Mueller sued Swift in civil court for an unspecified amount, claiming that he was falsely accused and it has ruined his career in radio. Swift countersued for assault and battery, and is asking for $1.
PHOTOS: Courtroom sketches from Day 1 of the Taylor Swift trial
Dent says he distinctly remembers when Mueller and his then-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, entered what he described as a cloth photo booth that was used for meet-and-greets. He says he was standing nearby and could see both the front and back of Swift.
During at times heated questioning from Mueller’s attorney, Dent was adamant that he knew what he saw.
“I didn’t see his hand touch her physically,” Dent says. “I saw his hand under her skirt. She reacted, pushed her skirt down and moved closer to the woman. So in my opinion, I knew he touched her.”
While questioning other witnesses, Mueller’s attorney repeatedly asked if they thought Dent had done enough to protect the then-23-year-old Swift. During her testimony on Thursday, Swift countered by saying Mueller shouldn’t have touched her in the first place.
Dent, meanwhile, says while he knew what happened, he was looking at Swift for cues about what she wanted him to do. He says she sometimes told him he was “too mean” and since it appeared she wanted to finish the meet-and-greet, he stayed put.
“I wouldn’t say it was dangerous,” Dent said. “I thought it was a violation of her body.”
It wasn’t until afterward that Swift told someone else on the team that she thought she had been assaulted and they took action, identifying Mueller from the photograph and notifying his boss at KYGO.
Mueller’s attorney repeatedly asked Dent why they didn’t look at all of the photos from the meet-and-greet to ensure they were targeting the right person. The bodyguard, who worked for Swift from 2008 to the end of the Red tour in 2013, was adamant that it wasn’t necessary.
“We weren’t doing a police lineup,” the former federal officer for the NSA said. “I was standing right there. I saw him, I didn’t need to go up to the camera and see what he looked like, or what anyone else looked like.”
Dent said during cross-examination that this was the first time something like this had happened to Swift, and that since, he has asked men at meet-and-greets to “keep their hands up high.”
On Tuesday, the pop star’s mother, Andrea Swift, testified that since the incident with Mueller, her daughter has stopped going into the crowd at shows and now background checks people before meet-and-greets. At one point, she expressed regret that her daughter was “too polite.”
Dent says the alleged assault happened before an infamous photo -- since released to TMZ -- was taken. He says he noticed that Swift’s demeanor changed, but that she still said “thank you” as Mueller and Melcher left the room.