CULTURE

Taylor Swift Makes “Extremely Generous” Donation to Mariska Hargitay’s Charity for Sexual Assault Survivors

The singer won her case against David Mueller this week.


Dimitrios Kambouris/LP5/Getty Images

Just days after a jury found a former radio DJ guilty of groping Taylor Swift at a pre-concert meet-and-greet in 2013, the singer-songwriter is taking an additional step to assist sexual assault survivors in the future.

Per People, Swift has donated a large sum of money to Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps to heal, educate, and empower survivors of sexual assault. (Hargitay and Swift go way back—the singer named her cat, Olivia Benson, after Hargitay’s Law & Order: SVU character.) Although the amount of money Swift donated wasn’t disclosed, the CEO of the foundation said it was an “extremely generous financial investment in the movement to end sexual violence.”

“I hope that Taylor’s very public experience―and her decision to speak out―not only helps empower other victims to speak up and take action, but offers them solidarity,” Hargitay said in a statement. “I’m honored by her dedication and commitment to these issues, and I’m deeply grateful for her support of the Joyful Heart Foundation.”

The weeklong trial proved to be an emotional yet empowering journey for Swift and her family. The singer was applauded for her testimony, and her mother broke down in tears multiple times when she testified. With her court victory, Swift will also be receiving only $1 out of solidarity for fellow survivors, in contrast to the $3 million the plaintiff, David Mueller, was seeking.

“I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society, and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this,” Swift said in a statement after her win. “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”

A Brief History of the 16 Most Memorable Celebrity Courtroom Sketches, from Amy Winehouse to Taylor Swift

Though Denver’s court system somehow managed to assemble a jury who’d maybe never listened to Taylor Swift for her groping trial this past week, the whole world seemed to know that the sketches that emerged from the courtroom bore little to no resemblance to the pop star—other than her preference for Peter Pan collars. Indeed, the real artist behind the sketch was Jeff Kandyba, but some joked that it was likely instead Katheryn Hudson—the birth name of Swift’s nemesis, Katy Perry.

Jeff Kandyba

Note that Mona Shafer Edwards took care to capture the red soles of Lindsay Lohan‘s Louboutins when the actress was led away in handcuffs in 2010, to await a hearing on whether she violated her probation (for drunken driving and cocaine possession) by failing a drug test.

Mona Shafer Edwards

Veteran courtroom artist Jane Rosenberg turned Tom Brady‘s “Deflategate” hearing into even more of a sensation in 2015 when her she deflated the famous hunk and husband of Gisele into something of a hardened, tan Gollum in her courtroom sketch—to the internet’s delight, and seemingly endless memes.

Jane Rosenberg

This sketch of Martin Shkreli, the “Pharma bro” who’s been widely hated since 2015, was depicted by the same artist responsible for the infamous depiction of Tom Brady. This time around, she seemed to incorporate the public opinion about Shkreli ever since he raised the price of a lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent into the sketch—no doubt appreciated by the jury, who’s so far reportedly called him both a “snake” and a “dick.”

Jane Rosenberg

After Paris Hilton showed up late to her 2007 Beverly Hills trial in an uncharacteristic pinstripe suit, but before she was convicted of violating her probation, the early 2000s icon actually pulled out her compact and started doing her makeup in court—a moment Edwards benevolently chose not to depict.

Mona Shafer Edwards

In 2009, Amy Winehouse was accused of assaulting a fan and ultimately acquitted—after the singer, just 5’3″ in her ballet flats, stood up to remind the judge of her small stature and stand by her claim that she only could have been defending herself.

Priscilla Coleman

Edwards depicted Michael Jackson in court in 1996 for a low-key case (one regarding the Jackson Family Honors show, and his failure to sing alone, without his family, onstage), and she also again captured him in 2005, when he faced charges for molesting a teenager. Though he’d worn a red jacket before, here, the wan singer wisely left his flashy looks at home—though he does sort of resemble an accurate mix of Voldemort and a Gryffindor.

Mona Shafer Edwards

In 2015, Pharrell Williams took part in an eight-day trial with Robin Thicke whose jury ultimately decided that their single “Blurred Lines,” which made $16 million in profits, borrowed just a little too much from Martin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Evidently, he took the trial very, very seriously: It was one of the only time he took care to leave his trademark camo blazers and murses at home.

Mona Shafer Edwards

Edwards was also there at the trial to depict Robin Thicke, and indeed, her sketch of the singer was heralded by some as the only good thing about the entire case. After all, to not have commemorated the moment Thicke pulled out a keyboard on the witness stand and sang a medley of U2’s “With Or Without You,” The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” would have been a crime in and of itself.

Mona Shafer Edwards

Martha Stewart famously went on trial—and eventually went to prison—in 2004 for obstructing an investigation into her stock sales, but chief in the domestic goddess’s mind throughout the process were also her portraits during the trial; she even courted sketch artists ahead of time, and got the Wall Street Journal to switch out its rendering where she thought she appeared bloated. Though this sketch by alum Rosenberg was apparently passable, another courtroom frequenter, Shirley Shepard, wasn’t so lucky: When Shepard showed up to a taping of her show three years later, Stewart allegedly pointed her out to the audience—and declared her a “bad artist.”

Jane Rosenberg

Edwards was also there to capture the original modern-day courtroom celeb, Winona Ryder, when she went on trial for shoplifting $5,560 worth of items from Saks Fifth Avenue in 2002. The $760 cashmere Marc Jacobs sweater she took was nowhere to be found in court, though; a subdued Ryder, who did not testify, kept it mum in the courtroom and also kept her look subdued.

Mona Shafer Edwards

After winning two Emmy Awards for her courtroom sketches, Ida Libby Dengrove went on to depict Sex Pistols frontman Sid Vicious when he was infamously accused of murdering his late girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, who was found stabbed with a knife belonging to Vicious at the Chelsea Hotel in 1978. Whether you’re team Sid or Nancy, the incident clearly took a toll on Vicious: Here, he looks much older than his early twenties.

Ida Libby Dengrove

Even on crutches, Halle Berry still stood out when she showed up to her custody battle with her ex Gabriel Aubry in 2012, in part because of another accessory: a flashy apparent engagement ring from her then-partner Olivier Martinez, whom she ended up marrying the next year.

Mona Shafer Edwards

Hidden from Edwards’s depiction of an at-ease Dolly Parton at her 1985 trial for charges she’d copied much of her hit “9 to 5” is not only the fact that the singer was wearing stilettos, but also that she told Edwards she loved her drawings in the bathroom—and even wrote her a check to purchase one before heading into the stall.

Like his newfound buddy, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg has also spent time in the courtroom, though back in 1996, when he was known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, it was hardly a laughing matter: Along with his bodyguard, he was charged—and ultimately acquitted—of murder, after the shooting death of a gang member, hence his uncharacteristically subdued demeanor.

Mona Shafer Edwards

Thanks to her abusive ex Chris Brown, Rihanna has also found herself spending time in the courtroom. Brown had purple hair at the time that he pleaded guilty to his felony assaults against the singer in 2009, while Rihanna remained stony-faced—and dressed in head-to-toe black.

Mona Shafer Edwards
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