Denver (CNN)Taylor Swift’s star power took center stage Monday as jury selection began in a civil trial over a backstage encounter between the superstar and a Denver disc jockey.
Former KYGO morning show host David Mueller, who was known professionally as “Jackson,” claims he lost his job after Swift falsely accused him of improperly touching her at a 2013 meet-and-greet at Pepsi Center. KYGO radio is a CNN affiliate.
He sued Swift, her mother, Andrea, and her radio promotions director, Frank Bell, in 2015. His lawsuit alleged that they reported the incident to his employers and pressured them to “do the right thing,” leading to his termination. He is seeking $3 million in damages.
Swift, who was 23 at the time, countersued Mueller. Her suit accused him of improperly touching her as they posed for a photo by “reaching under her dress and grabbing her bottom.” Judge William Martinez granted Swift’s request to seal the photo until the trial on the grounds that it could prejudice potential jurors, but it was leaked in 2016.
Prospective jurors from the Denver area were asked if they had ever seen the photo as lawyers began to narrow down the pool of 60 people to eight needed to form the panel. Jury selection will resume Tuesday morning.
To Swift, the trial is more than an effort to simply refute Mueller’s claim. If she prevails, Swift vowed to donate potential monetary awards to charitable organizations “dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard,” she said in her countersuit.
Moreover, she hopes it will “serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” she said in her countersuit.