Tom Hiddleston fling and grandiose July Fourth parties aside, Taylor Swift really is just like us. The popstar apparently had jury duty Monday morning in Nashville, and she spent it signing autographs and taking selfies with her fellow civic-minded Tennesseans.
Just hours after the conclusion of the Video Music Awards, which she did not attend, Swift appeared at the courthouse. The Nashville Jury Duty FAQ tells potential jurors they're OK to bring laptops and cell phones to use on the free WiFi, which is likely how the photos of Swift got out so quickly.
Though she has 10 Grammy Awards, the former country singer was relatively unlucky Monday. "Jurors are randomly selected by computer from the DMV database," the FAQ notes. "About 90 percent of jurors have never served before."
According to the National Center for State Courts, about 31.8 million summonses are mailed out every year to Americans. Only about 1.5 million end up being selected to actually serve, so Swift's chances are low.
That said, Monday wasn't Swift's first time being summoned. Nashville Trial Court Administrator Tim Townsend told the Tennessean in December she'd deferred her service because she was on tour in Australia. The Jury Duty FAQ notes that deferment requests are normally granted.
The New York Times noted in 2006 that, at least in New York City, celebrities aren't normally chosen as jurors because attorneys think they'll hold too much power over regular citizens. One exception to this was actor Tom Hanks, who in 2013 ended up as a juror in a domestic violence case in Los Angeles. But one of the prosecutors spoke to Hanks in the courthouse, telling him she liked that he'd reported for duty, BBC News reported. This caused the defense attorney to request a mistrial. Instead, the judge just reduced the charge.
Just like with Swift, the public might not ever know the details of what would have transpired at jury duty.
"[Hanks] looked at me like he always had, smiled and said, 'I was going to vote the way of justice,'" defense attorney Andrew Flier told CNN at the time. "So he never disclosed what that justice was headed for, the defense or the prosecution."