Taylor Swift shaken and humiliated by groping, mom tells trial

TAYLOR SWIFT. The singer alleges that DJ David Mueller sexually assaulted her during a photo-op before one of her concerts in 2013. Screengrab from Instagram.com/taylorswift 

DENVER, USA – Pop superstar Taylor Swift's mother recounted before a US jury on August 9 the moment her "shattered" daughter said she had been groped by a local radio host.

The 27-year-old singer alleges that David Mueller grabbed her by the buttocks during a photo opportunity at a 2013 concert in Denver – while he is counter-suing, arguing that the accusations are false and cost him his job.

Andrea Swift, a member of her daughter's senior management group, told the Denver federal court she knew something was wrong as soon as they returned to the "Bad Blood" singer's dressing room.

"When she told me someone had grabbed her, I was very upset," Andrea Swift said, describing her daughter as "really shaken" and humiliated.

"I know what happened. I heard it from my daughter's mouth," Swift told the jury.

"That guy," she added, pointing to Mueller. "He sexually assaulted her."

Since the Denver incident, the singer has changed how she handles meetings with fans, cutting back on meet-and greet opportunities, her mother said, and avoiding going into the audience during gigs.

"It absolutely shattered us, this incident," Andrea Swift said.

Frank Bell, the Grammy Award-winning chart-topper's radio liason, backed up Swift's version of events, what she said to him immediately after the photo session.

Bell told the court Swift had said: "This guy from radio stuck his hand up my skirt and grabbed my bare ass."

Mueller had given evidence in the morning session, conceding that a picture taken during the alleged assault could be interpreted as incriminating.


"Someone could have concluded it appeared she was trying to get away from me," Mueller said.

The photograph of Swift, Mueller and his girlfriend at the pre-show meet-and-greet shows the morning presenter on radio station KYGO with his hand behind the singer. Mueller claims his knuckles may have touched her ribs, well above where his arm is shown.

Swift maintains he sexually assaulted her by lifting her skirt and fondling her buttocks.

Mueller denied the charge, but admitted he did not know where his hand was because he was looking at the photographer.

"If anyone touched her rear, she had a right not to like it. I didn't want to hurt Ms. Swift," Mueller told the court.

The singer, who was 23 at the time, did not file a police report because she did not want the incident made public, her attorney Doug Baldridge said.

Swift's security guards threw Mueller out of the Pepsi Center and told him he was banned for life from Swift concerts.

The star's staff reported the incident to KYGO executives who fired Mueller two days later for violating the morals clause of his contract, the court has heard.

Mueller filed a lawsuit seeking almost $3 million in lost and future wages because of "slander" from members of the Swift camp, while Swift has counter-sued for the alleged sexual assault.

The singer, who was joined in court by her mother and father Scott Swift, has said she will donate any damages awarded in her suit to charities that fight sexual assault on women. – Rappler.com

Honoring a Manobo warrior

Mother and daughter play the first woman “datu.”

First time Maria Isabel Lopez saw Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay in a “lumad” evacuation center in Haran, Davao City, the beauty queen was instantly drawn to the 92-year-old Manobo leader.
“She was in bed and was not feeling well that day,” she recalled their fateful meeting almost two years ago.
She asked around about the leader and was led to a YouTube video of a frail yet feisty Bai Bibyaon giving a lawmaker a mighty dressing-down for betraying the tribe.

“I was blown away,” owned up Maribel, as she was known in the biz.
As early as then, she already nurtured the dream of portraying the courageous chieftain in her heart.

She gets her wish fulfilled in a coming production, her collaboration with the Gender and Development Committee of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC). The docu-drama is directed by Cenon Palomares, with Sheron Dayoc as creative consultant. As bonus, Maribel’s daughter Mara Lopez has been cast as the young Bai Bibyaon.
Since their first encounter in 2015, Maribel has been doing research on Bai Bibyaon, the only female datu (chieftain) in Manobo history.
She described Bai Bibyaon as a “pioneering feminist.” “She broke the rule that only men could join tribal wars. Her leadership qualities, bravery and will to survive had a profound impact on me.”
She related that the woman warrior had been defending her tribe’s ancestral land since 1994. “She has been protecting her community, the forest, water and mountains, from greedy corporations that are engaged in illegal logging and mining.”

Maria Isabel Lopez with daughter Mara
Every time she’s in Davao, the actress observes the datu’s life in the evacuation center. “She makes Manobo beads all day. She follows a paleo diet—no processed food. She only eats food from the earth.”
Whenever she visits, she brings Bai Bibyaon boiled kamote (sweet potatoes). “But she would share my gift with the whole clan. She has so much love for the community—so selfless.”

She sees a kindred spirit in the esteemed tribal elder.
“She’s independent and fearless, too,” Maribel enthused. “She’s not afraid to speak her mind. As a teenager, she fought a panggayaw (tribal war). She was a sharpshooter and made her own weapons.”
She admires the leader for “always fighting for the preservation of the culture and tradition of the lumad. I want the whole world to hear her voice… so our children and children’s children will recognize who she is, her contributions to our culture, the environment and the plight of Filipino women.”
She related that she and her team had started filming Bai Bibyaon narrating her story, in her own words.
“We plan to screen the movie here and abroad, in festivals and screenings for students and lumad communities,” she remarked. “Liza Maza of the NAPC got involved because it was in line with the agency’s poverty alleviation programs. This advocacy film promotes self-reliance and the sustainability of communities. Women and the lumad are in the Top 5 of the NAPC’s agenda.”
Bai Bibyaon, Maribel noted, is a UP Gawad Tandang Sora awardee this year. “She is a true Gabriela!”


REVIEW | Cycling drama ‘Requited’ freewheels towards vagueness

Anna Luna and Jake Cuenca in 'Requited.'

Despite a story that’s brimming with potential, Nerissa Picadizo’s “Requited” never really hits its stride because of its weak script.

“Requited” is the story of Matt (Jake Cuenca) and his journey from Manila to Pinatubo by bicycle. The film starts strong, almost quiet except for the beautiful music of Chi Capulong and the constant sound of the pedals and chain at work. The first few minutes are practically silent, camera squarely on Jake Cuenca, as he goes from Ortigas down EDSA to SM North EDSA and then out into the provincial highway.

There is an energy being built here through the silence and the use of distance that Matt has covered through biking alone. He is running from something. His cell phone rings but he never answers it. He even breaks it before he continues until his friend Sam (Anna Luna) catches up with him. This should be the payoff for that build up, but sadly it flounders away.

The story progresses without any control of the dramatic tension that was built at the beginning. Matt and Sam are on tenuous ground. He is obviously in love with her and she knows it but she’s with someone else. He blames her for not being a good friend, she gets mad at him for being so angry all the time. But nothing else really happens.

Early on, we see that Matt is dealing with an illness, something that is implied as being terminal. It’s the reason for this trip, it’s the reason for the scars on his wrist, and his anger. But the film attempts to prolong the information and replaces this with mood.

The pair continue their travels, stopping by at convenience stores, roadside carinderias, and motels to sleep over. They are always broaching the issues that are evidently there but they never actually deal with them.

There’s a lot of scenes of just Matt and Sam biking through the province but unfortunately this does not serve as a metaphor for anything that’s going on. It does not give us any real look inside these characters’ internal world.

In fact, the film as a whole, is literal. The lead characters’ conversations are shallow; more for the audience’s benefit than for theirs. Often, the camera brings attention to itself and reminds us we are watching a movie. It is unnecessarily shaky in the scenes when they hit rocky ground and most of their shots biking on the highway are taken from the same angle the whole time, reminding us of how difficult it is to shoot in such conditions.

It’s because the film is so literal and because it constantly reminds us that it is a film that, when the finale hits, what should be a dramatic highpoint made everyone in the cinema laugh. All that built-up dramatic tension misfires because the scene wasn’t plotted properly and the storytelling didn’t help us get invested in these characters. Its supposedly dramatic climax made people laugh instead of cry.

It’s unfortunate, though. Jake Cuenca and Anna Luna are amazing actors. Chi Capulong’s musical score is beautiful. The sound design is strong. But there was a whole world that was going on in the film that the director wasn’t able to bring out.

“Requited” could have been affecting. But it’s too literal in its storytelling, and its characters are too vague for us to care about their journey. There’s a story here that is worth telling but it still needed to be refined before hitting the open road.

“Requited” is a full-length feature film entry in the ongoing Cinemalaya Film Festival and is now screening at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Ayala Cinemas. For screening schedules, visit www.cinemalaya.org or www.sureseats.com.

Taylor Swift watches jury selection for trial against Denver DJ

Taylor Swift. (Reuters)
DENVER | Taylor Swift sat next to her lawyers at a federal courthouse in Denver on Monday as jury selection began for a trial pitting the pop star against a Colorado radio personality over allegations the former disc jockey fondled her four years ago during a photo shoot.

Swift, 27, one of the top-selling U.S. singers, wore a black jacket and white top in court as she watched the proceedings.

She is expected to take the stand during the trial in U.S. District Court to testify about the incident, which resulted in broadcaster David Mueller’s firing from Colorado music station KYGO-FM.

The litigation centers on Swift’s allegations that Mueller slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her bare bottom as they posed during a meet-and-greet session before her June 2, 2013, concert in Denver.

“It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life,” Swift said of the incident during a deposition.

Mueller, 55, sued first, claiming Swift falsely accused him of the groping and pressured station management to oust him from his $150,000-per-year job at the station, according to the lawsuit.

Swift countersued for assault and battery and that became part of the same trial.

A crowd of Swift supporters was expected to attend the proceedings.

Maya Benia, 20, a fan from Albuquerque, New Mexico, had been waiting outside the courthouse since 5:30 a.m. MDT (1130 GMT). She could not stay for the trial because of a doctor’s appointment but had a letter she hoped someone would relay to the singer.

“It is a thank-you to her for consistently being there for me over the years through all my hospitalizations and also a thank for survivors of sexual assault and her being able to use her voice when others couldn’t,” Benia said.

Mueller denies anything inappropriate occurred during the brief backstage encounter in which he stood on one side of the pop star and his girlfriend on the other. His lawsuit said Swift’s accusation is “nonsense.”

Mueller is suing under tort claims of interference with contractual obligations and prospective business relations. Jurors will determine what monetary damages, if any, he is entitled to if Swift is found liable.

In court filings, Swift said her representatives informed KYGO management about the incident but she did not demand Mueller be fired.

The radio station investigated and two days after the incident fired Mueller for violating the morality clause of his contract, court documents show.

The judge has placed a gag order on all parties and attorneys for both sides did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Swift, one of the most successful contemporary music artists, earned $170 million between June 2015 and June 2016 following a world tour and her best-selling “1989” album, according to Forbes Magazine.

Aaron Carter Opens Up About His Sexuality In Emotional Twitter Post

“To me, music has always been my temple,” Aaron Carter wrote in a Twitter post.


Aaron Carter said he felt like “a weight and a burden” had been lifted as he opened up about his sexuality publicly for the first time late Saturday.

In an emotional post on Twitter, the pop star revealed he “started to find boys and girls attractive” as a teen, and had “an experience with a male” who he “worked with and grew up with.”

It should be noted that the 29-year-old brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter did not use the words “gay” or “bisexual” in his tweet.

He concluded the passage with a quote he attributed to singer-songwriter Boy George, who is gay: “I’ve never felt as though I didn’t belong, I just acted as though I did.”

It’s been a challenging year for Carter, who is best known for his infectious 2000 single, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” In July, the star was arrested in Georgia on suspicion of driving under the influence and drug possession.

Carter, who has been frank about his struggles with depression, substance abuse and eating disorders in the past, has since returned to the concert stage as part of a national tour. His next performance is slated for Aug. 10 in Brandon, Florida.

The singer thanked fans for their support on Twitter.

Top food park grubs at The Yard


Here's top 5 best food grub finds at The Yard paired well with Andy Cola! Photo by James Miguel

MANILA, Philippines — Philstar.com together with the Zomato foodies once again invaded a new city! This time, we went to Quezon City, and headed to one of their most popular food parks called The Yard.

Food parks are now the hippest spots for food-lovers and adventurers. We say au revoir to the days where one has to choose a specific cuisine to savor. Now in just one stop, there’s a wide range of specialty dishes made to satisfy cravings.

The Yard has several stalls that serve bar chows, made for millennials to chat and bond the night away. The perfect alcoholic drink we found at The Yard at Xavierville is Andy Cola, a drink that paired well with almost all of our food-park finds.

We are listing the top 5 best food grub finds at The Yard which paired well with our favorite alcoholic drink, Andy Cola!

Bacon Avenue

Burgers are always a good idea. But when you pair it with alcohol, it gets even better. Complement Burger Avenue’s Bacon Mushroom and Cheese Overload with a cold bottle of Andy Cola. Trust us, this was a kick-ass combo.


Konnichiwa! Takami took us straight to the to the streets of Japan – serving Gyoza and Okonomiyaki with a modern twist. An unusally good pair with Andy Cola was Takami’s Gyozas - choose from Buffalo Chicken Gyoza or Beef Bulgogi Gyoza and down it with Andy Cola!

Squid Goals

With a sea of choices available in the Food Park, Squid Goals’ Giant Squid is a crowd favorite that’s hard to pass up. This instant hit has been making waves lately! Pair it with Andy Cola for perfection!


Of course, how can we miss Puluts? Alcohol is extra divine with pulutan. Puluts has redefined the Filipino Street Food, offering Pork Sisig with a twist, Crispy Kawali Pansit and the Pika Platter. Make these dishes a drinking Staple with your Andy Cola!

All About Fry Day

Visiting Food Parks with friends is all about celebrating all the hard work of the week! Indeed, celebrate Fridays with their Blooming Fries and Andy Cola.

Visiting The Yard soon? Don’t forget to pair your favorite food park find with Andy Cola!

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