A photograph Taylor Swift claims is evidence that a former radio DJ sexually assaulted her has leaked.

Taken at a meet-and-greet event at Denver's Pepsi Centre in June 2013, the photo published by TMZ shows David Mueller's right arm extended behind Swift. While his hand is not visible, it appears level with her rear.

Mueller initially sued Swift for slander and accused her of getting him fired from his job at Colorado country music station 98.5 KYGO, where he had worked since 2013, the Daily Mail reports.
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But Swift counter-sued, stating in a deposition that Mueller "reached up under my skirt and grabbed my ass right when I was having to pose for a photo".


Mueller claims it was a co-worker of his who assaulted Swift and that he is wrongly accused.

It is unclear how the photograph was leaked, but Swift's legal team had successfully filed a motion to seal the image in order to protect her privacy. The motion to seal a number of documents include witness testimonies and photographs and stated the dangers of influencing a jury.

It also noted the importance of protecting Swift's privacy, stating "it is all but assured that the photograph will be shared for scandalous and prurient interests".

The judge granted the motion to seal the image, but rejected a similar request for a transcript of Swift's testimony.

Lawyers pressed Swift to tell them whether or not the photo taken with Mueller during the meet-and-greet in June 2013 was the moment he groped her. It was noted in the deposition that her skirt is not ruffled or messed up in the photograph.

Swift said it would be impossible for her to definitively answer whether that photo captured that moment.

She said she couldn't pinpoint when it happened because she was "uncomfortable because a strange man's hand just lifted up my skirt and was either nearing my ass cheek, freshly grabbed onto or refusing to let go".

According to the documents, Swift's photographer also said she recalled seeing a strange expression on Swift's face right before the photo was snapped, but said she thought maybe the singer had tripped on her heels.

Details of the assault first came to light when Swift showed up for jury duty in Nashville, Tennessee in August.

She said she didn't think she could be unbiased in an aggravated rape, kidnapping and domestic abuse trial because of her own experience.

Singer Taylor Swift poses with a juror in the Nashville, Tennessee, courthouse August 2016 before being dismissed as a potential juror in an assault case. Photo / Instagram
Singer Taylor Swift poses with a juror in the Nashville, Tennessee, courthouse August 2016 before being dismissed as a potential juror in an assault case. Photo / Instagram

A judge decided she couldn't be impartial and she was dismissed from jury duty.
In her deposition she says: "As soon as he grabbed my ass, I became shocked and withdrawn and was barely able to say 'thanks for coming', which is what I say to everybody.

"I was barely able to get words out, and it was like somebody switched the lights off in my personality.

"So it was pretty quick that he was gone after that," she said.

Swift explains she "just wanted him to be gone" after the incident. When asked if she told one of her staff members immediately after she said: "No, because I didn't have one split second without a fan in front of me until that moment.

"And I didn't want people to find out about this. Anything that I say in front of fans could end up in the press, and I didn't want that."

In one part of the deposition, Swift's mother Andrea says she was "nauseous" when Swift came to her and told her about the alleged incident.

"I felt like I wanted to cry and throw up at the same time," Andrea said.

She said her daughter appeared "humiliated, embarrassed, and horrified".

"She was upset. She cried. We cried. It was - it was just inconceivable," Andrea said of her daughter.