Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Oprah and Kraft launch a new food line, Ivanka Trump’s brand will open its first retail outpost, and Taylor Swift takes the stand. Have a relaxing weekend.
• Swift on the stand. Taylor Swift took the stand yesterday, testifying against her alleged assaulter one day after her mother’s memorable testimony.
To recap, the case goes back to a 2013 concert in Denver, Colo., where Swift says that DJ David Mueller purposefully groped her backside under her dress during a photo op. In 2015, Mueller sued the singer, saying that her accusation was false and cost him his job; he is seeking $3 million in damages. Swift countersued for assault and battery, seeking $1. According to her lawsuit, she wants the case to serve “as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”
On the stand yesterday, Swift was uncompromising, “I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of [Mueller’s] life that are a product of his decisions and not mine,” she said.
Insisting that the grope was “very intentional,” Swift’s response to Mueller’s attorney’s cross examination likely resonated with other women who have brought sexual assault charges: “I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel in any way that this is my fault because it isn’t.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Not talking it out. Google CEO Sundar Pichai canceled a company-wide meeting on gender issues Thursday shortly before it was scheduled to begin. The last minute cancellation came after employees said they had been harassed online after their questions meant for the town hall were leaked outside the company. The highly anticipated event was set to address the infamous anti-diversity memo written by former employee James Damore, who Pichai fired on Monday.
• Check your privilege. Speaking of Damore, Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, writes an open letter to the Google engineer, challenging his use of scientific research—and his inability to acknowledge his viewpoint, i.e. that of a “very privileged white male who has no idea what it feels like to go to work at your engineering job every day worried that your colleagues, your boss, potential investors, partners, etc. might be thinking in the backs of their heads that you don’t have what it takes because of your gender.”
• Long road ahead. And what can be more timely than this story, which attempts to take a clear-eyed look at the hurdles that must be cleared to bring true diversity to the tech industry—including winning over the significant portion of the workforce that doesn’t buy into the need for it.
• Out and about. This Vogue profile focuses on Chelsea Manning’s new, post-prison life in New York City. While she’s still adjusting to freedom, Manning says she’s already focused on what comes next: “My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go.”
• Eat with O. Oprah Winfrey is partnering with Kraft to launch a line of health-conscious refrigerated food, called—wait for it—O, That’s Good! The first of the new products should be available by the end of September.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Caterpillar has elected former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte to its board.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• 5 for No. 1. Every artist to notch a No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 this year has been a man; indeed the last woman to crack the top of the chart was Sia, back in August of 2016. But now five female artists have a strong chance of ending that all-male streak.
• Meehan eyes Mass. Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas’ announcement that she will retire after her current term has sparked a flurry of interest in the Democrat’s seat. Among those looking to toss their hats in the ring: Ellen Meehan, ex-wife of former Democratic Rep. Marty Meehan (he represented the district before Tsongas) and a former campaign chair for Tsongas.
• Trump times two. Ivanka Trump’s brand is opening its first brick-and-mortar storefront this fall—reportedly located in the Trump Tower.
• To live and donate in L.A. Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that distributes essentials to families around L.A., has become one of Hollywood’s most high-profile philanthropies. Led by co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof, a former model, and Norah Weinstein, a former securities litigator at Skadden Arps, the organization has attracted support from Molly Sims, Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie, Kelly Rowland, and a host of other boldface names.