Pop star Taylor Swift has won a preliminary round in the court trial stemming from her allegation that she was groped by a Colorado DJ, as the judge dismissed the DJ's rival claim accusing the singer of wrongfully getting him fired.
The ruling by US District Judge William Martinez left intact Ms Swift's assault and battery countersuit against David Mueller, who had asserted he was falsely accused by the recording star and ousted from his job at radio station KYGO-FM under pressure from her.
The judge previously tossed out Mr Mueller's defamation-of-character claim against Ms Swift, originally leaving her only to face a tort claim of interference with contractual obligations and prospective business relations.
The Grammy-winning artist asserted that her representatives informed KYGO management about the alleged groping incident in 2013, but never demanded that Mr Mueller be fired.
The judge agreed with Ms Swift's lawyer that the other side had failed to show any basis to support Mr Mueller's contractual interference claims against Ms Swift.
But the judge left the singer's mother, Andrea Swift, and her radio station liaison Frank Bell named as defendants in Mr Mueller's case, meaning the jury will decide if those two should bear any liability for Mr Mueller's dismissal.
The jury also will decide whether Mr Mueller is liable for assault and battery, for which Ms Swift is seeking a symbolic $1 in damages. She has pledged to donate any judgment she wins beyond that to charity.
The ruling came on the fifth day of the Denver trial, capped by testimony from Ms Swift's former bodyguard corroborating her account of being groped by Mueller, testifying that he saw the DJ slip his hand under her skirt as they posed for a photo.