Taylor Swift played her Tampa, Florida Reputation concert last night – and it marked the one-year anniversary of the day she won her sexual assault case against a radio DJ who assaulted her during a meet and greet in 2013. The singer took the opportunity to thank her fans for their support during that extremely tough time she went through.
“A year ago I was not playing in a stadium in Tampa, I was in a courtroom in Denver, Colorado,” she began by saying. “This is the day the jury sided in my favor and said that they believed me.”
Taylor said, “I just wanted to say that I’m sorry to anyone who ever wasn’t believed because I don’t know what turn my life would take if people didn’t believe me when I said that something had happened to me. And so I guess I just wanted to say that we have so, so, so much further to go, and I’m so grateful to you guys for being there for me during what was a really, really horrible part of my life.”
Taylor opened up about the journey to TIME in the publication’s 2017 Person of Year issue, explaining what it was like going to battle against people that didn’t believe her story – along with the strong need she felt to get justice not only for herself, but to prevent the incident she faced from happening to others.
“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,” Taylor said. “The radio station conducted its own investigation and fired him. Two years later, he sued me.”
She added, “I spent two years reading headlines referring to it as ‘The Taylor Swift Butt Grab Case’ with internet trolls making a joke about what happened to me. The details were all skewed, as they often are. Most people thought I was suing him.”
Taylor’s decision to share her story has helped tons of others who have ever experienced something similar – and for that, we thank her.
If you or a friend has experienced sexual assault, you can find help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or find more resources from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at nsvrc.org.
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