Opinion by C J Oakes
She said, he said trials are never easy. When someone makes a claim of sexual assault, battery, or harassment with little evidence of the matter, the case largely falls to a jury to decide whom to believe. Taylor Swift is easy to believe. All-American, girl-next-door-who-made-it-big makes her a celebrity many would automatically want to believe. Add in the fact that she is one of the most philanthropic celebrities in the world; she regularly supports scores of chartable causes.
Given all this, it is hard to imagine that Taylor Swift would be making up the allegation that in 2013, radio host David Mueller surreptitiously grabbed her butt.
Of course, it happens.
Women have been known to make up claims of inappropriate behavior on the part of men.
And men have been known to act in inappropriate ways towards women.
So…who do we believe?
Well, in the Taylor Swift/David Mueller case there IS a photo — but both sides have a reasonable explanation for what is seen. The image is from the front and appears to show Mueller reaching around back for perhaps a sneaky grab, but the defense argument that he was moving swiftly to get into the photo op with Swift is just as plausible. Of course, given that, it is just as plausible that he used the opportunity both to get into the photo and get a grab.
She said, he said.
In any case of he said, she said…she said, he said…whatever…one must consider what is to gain by the allegation.
In some cases, the claim is made for monetary gain. Not likely in the case of Swift.
In other cases, the claim is made to help someone unrelated to the case at hand to secure adultery charges against an unwitting victim. Not in this case, however.
In some cases, the claim may be made to destroy the reputation of another. Again, not likely in this case.
In fact, as far as anyone involved in the case can tell, there is no motivation for Taylor Swift to fabricate the claim.
Now, as for me, I typically ignore she said, he said claims because there is usually some ulterior motive on the part of one or the other or both. Such cases usually cost precious time and money in the criminal justice system with no results. As for Ms. Swift, I am no fan. Cannot say I have ever heard her music (though I am told it is great).
But I did meet her years ago in a job setting and I believe her wholesome reputation is well-deserved.
For a time, I worked for a carnival. We were in Rayne, Louisiana and a young woman came to my game and played. One of the things every carney learns is that the public will try to con and get over on you at every turn — partly because they believe that all carney’s are going to do the same. This young woman however, played my game along with several other people. When a situation arose that called for grace, she was graceful. She was kind and pleasant. She was genuine and down-to-earth. My job was to entertain and she was a delight to entertain.
It was only after she left my game that a friend came up and told me who she was; that she had won America’s Got Talent or one of those shows. This was well before she was a big star, but she was known. In fact, I was told she was there to play the festival.
Thing is, I have had many occasions to entertain entertainers while I worked in the carnival. Some left an impression, some did not. Taylor Swift did and it is the impression she left me with that makes me believe she is telling the truth.