Taylor Swift, Ashley Judd, and Susan Fowler, a former engineer for Uber, are among several “silence breakers” named TIME magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year. The issue highlights dozens of famous and non-famous women and men from actor Terry Crews to #MeToo creator Tarana Burke to Isabel Pascual, a strawberry picker from Mexico who came forward this year to voice out against sexual harassment and assault. The cover also features a woman whose face is obscured to represent those who have yet to come forward.
In the issue, Swift opened up for the first time about her sexual assault experience with David Mueller, a Denver country radio DJ, who Swift claims lifted her skirt and grabbed her asscheek at a pre-concert meet-and-greet in 2013. Because of the public environment of the assault, Swift believed it was important to report the incident, so Mueller wouldn’t do something worse to someone in a private setting.
“At the time, I was headlining a major arena tour and there were a number of people in the room that saw this plus a photo of it happening,” Swift said. “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. It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know.”Source: Instagram
Swift also opened up about her frustration during the court case, which occurred nearly four years later after Mueller sued Swift for leading to his firing. Swift recalled her anger when she saw members of her team, including her mother, being badgered by Mueller’s attorney over “inane” details about the incident. She said the cross-examination was so extreme for her mother that she fell ill and was unable to come to court the next day when Swift took the stand.
” I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened,” she said. “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.”Source: Instagram
Swift, who also believes there is more awareness about workplace sexual harassment than ever before, revealed that Mueller still hasn’t given her $1, the symbolic amount of money she won after she countersued him.
“The brave women and men who have come forward this year have all moved the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn t be tolerated,” Swift said. “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. When the jury found in my favor, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself.”
Read the brave stories from the rest of TIME‘s Person of the Year here.TaylorSwift,AmongOther‘SilenceBreakers,’NamedTIME’sPersonYear