Taylor Swift Groping Photo Shamefully Published By TMZ (COMMENTARY)
The photo of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped by a radio deejay was published online by TMZ on Saturday, despite a judge sealing the picture as evidence that should not be made public. This is a shameful invasion of privacy by the website.
As Gossip Cop reported, Swift was sued by David Mueller last year, with the radio personality claiming he was wrongly fired from his job after being falsely accused of groping the superstar. Swift countersued a month later, alleging Mueller did, in fact, sexually assault her at a meet and greet by grabbing her butt as they posed for a photo. In her deposition, Swift testified that Mueller put his hand “up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek.”
Both sides have been preparing for trial, and that included Swift’s lawyers requesting the judge overseeing the case to keep the picture in question sealed. The singer’s attorneys argued that if the photo was made public, “it is all but assured that the photograph will be shared for scandalous and prurient interests,” and may also influence potential jurors. In late October, the judge agreed, noting, “The widespread dissemination of this image might significantly complicate jury selection.” And that should’ve been that.
But now, just weeks after the ruling, TMZ has not only obtained the sealed photo, but published it prominently on its website. It is not clear how the outlet gained access to the picture, but Gossip Cop is told there may be legal ramifications. There is already at least one consequence.
Swift’s privacy has been grossly invaded. This was not an image for public consumption. It was not a public document. It was something that a federal judge ordered to remain sealed. To disregard that is disrespectful to both Swift and the judge.
In its post, TMZ opines, “It’s hard to see how this pic unduly prejudices anyone.” But that was not up to the website to judge. It was up to the actual judge, who, again, ordered it to be sealed. Furthermore, publishing the photo of an alleged sexual assault just victimizes Swift all over again.
The outlet, which seemed to minimize the incident by putting “sexual assault” in quotes, also writes in what seems to be a mocking tone, “This is the photo Taylor Swift felt was too hot for the public to handle… the one she claimed would encourage ‘scandalous’ and ‘prurient’ behavior.'” With posting the butt-grabbing photo, it seems TMZ has done just that. And Swift did not deserve it.