Taylor Swift Fans War with Station Manager Who Hired Radio DJ Accused of Groping the Pop Star

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs at the Z100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017 at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2017 in New York. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Remember the Taylor Swift groping case? David Mueller, the Denver radio DJ who was accused of groping Swift at a meet-and-greet event in 2013 and lost a civil court case four years later, has found a new job: co-hosting a morning show at KIX-92.7, a radio station in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Swift fans, meanwhile, have found a new enemy: the station manager who hired him.

Larry Fuss, the CEO of station owner Delta Radio, defended the hiring to the New York Daily News, which was the first to report the news. According to Fuss, he sat down and spoke with Mueller before hiring him, and doesn't believe that he's a "sexual predator." (In 2017, a jury rejected Mueller's version of events and found him guilty of assault and battery. Jurors awarded Swift a symbolic $1.)

His comments came as hundreds of Swift fans emailed or called the station to express their displeasure. According to Fuss, the station has also received death threats and bomb threats, as well as all manner of "vile, vulgar" tirades.

Now Fuss is, well, starting a fuss of his own. On Wednesday afternoon, he responded to some of the complaints en masse with a lengthy and sternly worded email rant.

Newsweek obtained a copy of the email, which was sent at 4:26 p.m. on Wednesday. In it, he defends Mueller ("there is no hard evidence that Mr. Mueller is a 'sexual predator'"), casts doubt on Swift's account of the groping and threatens to sue a Swift fan who started a harassment campaign on Facebook.

Fuss also mentioned in the email that he has daughters and granddaughters.

"I do have a wife, two daughters, 4 granddaughters as well as several nieces, so I know where many of you are coming from," Fuss wrote, "but attempting to crucify the man for what was, even if he did do it, not on the same level as an actual sexual assault, is out of line. However, I get the impression many of you wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than the death penalty."

It's not clear how many Swift fans received the email, since recipients were BCCed. But several people tweeted screenshots of the email. "I want to start a protest against Larry Fuss who's with me," one fan tweeted.

Related: Blogger threatened by Taylor Swift speaks out: 'I want to make a statement for free speech"

Fuss has not responded to requests for additional comment, but we'll update if we hear back.

Here's the full email he sent to Swift fans:

Over the past several days, I have received many e-mails and phone calls regarding my decision to hire David Mueller at KIX-92.7.

Although I welcome rational, adult conversations, 99% of the calls and e-mails were vile, vulgar, profanity-laden and juvenile. It's hard to take people seriously when their complaints are nothing but F-word laden tirades. We have also had death threats and bomb threats since this controversy began. Responsible adults do not behave in such a manner. I don't know Taylor Swift myself, but I imagine she would be appalled if she knew her fans were behaving like this.

It also appears many of those calling and writing are not aware of the facts:

- David Mueller was not convicted of sexual assault. He was found guilty of simple "assault and battery" in a civil trial. Civil trials carry a far lower burden of proof than criminal trials, and since there was no evidence actually showing Mr. Mueller's hand on Ms. Swift's buttocks, it came down to one inconclusive photo and a "he said, she said" situation. A seemingly star-struck jury chose to believe Ms. Swift's version of the story. I did not call her a liar, as some have alleged. However, as many others have observed, her account of the story simply did not add up.

- Mr. Mueller was ordered to pay Ms. Swift $1.00. He did. The allegations that he hasn't done so are blatantly false.

- Mr. Mueller is not a registered sexual offender, as some have alleged. He was not convicted of any criminal charge. In fact, there were no criminal charges filed against him.

- Mr. Mueller is not a child-molester or rapist, as some have alleged. He was not charged, tried, or convicted of any sex crime.

- Mr. Mueller is not a convicted felon, as some have alleged. There was no felony charge, no criminal trial, and therefore no conviction.

- Mr. Mueller passed two polygraph tests prior to the trial. Although inadmissible in court, both tests indicated is version of the story was truthful.

- Mr. Muller did not change his name to conceal his identify, as some have alleged. For well over a decade, he has been known on-air as "Jackson," including while working at KYGO in Denver. It is not uncommon for radio people to use pseudonyms. We jokingly referred to him as "Stonewall" (in reference to Confederate General Stonewall Jackson), but he has not and will not use that name on-air. He's simply "Jackson"."

- Several people have commented that Mr. Mueller has failed to express remorse for what he did. Since he steadfastly maintains his innocence, why would he be expected to express remorse?

- It is extremely difficult to find talented, experienced radio people who are willing to work in our area of Mississippi for what we can afford to pay them. Perhaps it is I who am taking advantage of Mr. Mueller's situation by giving him a job at a station in a small-town in Mississippi and paying him far less than he was making in Denver. Time will tell.

Although I certainly don't condone sexual predators, there is no hard evidence that Mr. Mueller is a "sexual predator." He had never been accused of or charged with any such behavior prior to the Taylor Swift incident. I sat down and talked with him face-to-face on several occasions before I hired him, something none of the people who called or e-mailed have done. Yes I do have a wife, two daughters, 4 granddaughters as well as several nieces, so I know where many of you are coming from, but attempting to crucify the man for what was, even if he did do it, not on the same level as an actual sexual assault, is out of line. However, I get the impression many of you wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than the death penalty.

You can rest assured that Mr. Mueller will be fired immediately if any such incident occurs in the future. In the meantime, I will not be intimidated by threats from people, the vast majority of whom do not even live within the coverage area of my radio station.

The negative comments came mostly from Taylor Swift fans. Those in the broadcast industry have been much more supportive, including this unsolicited comment from a prominent industry leader: "Good for you for giving a radio guy a second chance to rebuild his career. If any of us were fired for something questionable we may or may not have done and then never been given another chance, we all be selling shoes, cars or working in a factory or a grocery store. Forgiveness is giving him a second chance." There's also this message from a former listener in Denver: "Thank you for hiring him! I don't know him but I live in Denver and I never believed for a minute he was lying. There are articles all over today about what you did and I, for one, think it is awesome. We cannot allow this to take this man's livelihood away and I have felt for him since the day this came out. Thank you for being a critical thinker, thank you for not going with the status quo, thank you for making what I am sure is an unpopular decision."

To the person who started the harassment campaign on Facebook (you know who you are), I have reported you to Facebook and have also asked my attorney to pursue charges against you for inciting harassment as well as malicious interference in my company's relationship with our advertisers. Yes, it's a real thing. You could also be guilty of inciting violence if any of those who made threats against me and my family actually follow through on those threats. The death threats have been reported to the police and the bomb threats have been reported to the FBI.

Because I don't have the time or the patience to engage in continuing debate on this matter, this is the only statement I will make. Any replies will not be answered and any negative posts will be deleted from our Facebook page. Plus, any future threats will be reported to the appropriate authorities. Mr. Mueller has paid the $1,00 he was awarded by the court and moved on with his life. I suggest you do the same.

Larry Fuss


Delta Radio Network LLC