Taylor Swift is one of the many women celebrated by Time Magazine's Person of the Year Issue, which named "Silence Breakers" against sexual harassment as its cover stars.
In the accompanying issue, the singer breaks her own silence about her court case earlier this year against DJ David Mueller, who sued her for defamation after he was fired when she told his superiors that Mueller had groped her backstage at a concert. She countersued for $1 and won.
When asked why she decided to take him to court and passionately testify against him, Swift explained that the decision had little to do with herself, but what he could do in the future to someone else. "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 told the publication. "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."
Swift also revealed she reached out to another pop star to talk her through everything. "I spoke to Kesha on the phone and it really helped to talk to someone who had been through the demoralizing court process," she said. Kesha is in her an ongoing war against Dr. Luke.
The 27-year-old singer got heaps of social media praise after she took the stand, hitting back at Mueller's lawyer with fiery responses like, "I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault because it isn't" and "I'm critical of your client sticking his hand under my skirt and grabbing my ass."
"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," she said of her passionate testimony. "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."
Though she won, Swift also told Time that, "to this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself."
To her fans and anyone else dealing with abuse or harassment, she added, "My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you."
She also praised the "brave women" speaking out in public for helping "move the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn't be tolerated."