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Katy Perry Accuses Taylor Swift of Trying to “Assassinate My Character With Little Girls”

arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Katy Perry‘s new album, Witness, is out today. The press tour for this one has been interesting, as the pre-release singles—”Swish Swish,” “Chained to the Rhythm,” “Bon Appetit”—didn’t make much of a chart impact, and are generally easily forgettable. So what else is she supposed to do? Talk about it, of course. She’s currently live-streaming herself hanging out in a house for the next 72 hours; she also opened up about her passive-aggressive feud with Taylor Swift for the first time. Today, she expanded more on her feelings about Swift in a new interview with the NME.

“I wish that I could turn the other cheek every single time, but I’m also not a pushover, you know?” she said. “Especially when someone tries to assassinate my character with little girls. That’s so messed up!”

She also talked about “Bad Blood,” Swift’s diss track about their feud, which was produced by longtime Perry collaborator Max Martin. “I can’t speak for him, but he didn’t know [who ‘Bad Blood’ was about]. I’m not supposed to tell him what he can and can’t do. I’m very fair; I’m super-duper fair and I’m not one of those people who’s like, ‘You can’t do that because I don’t like that person. Just, like, you do you, make your own choices.’ And I love Max. I’ve been working with Max my whole career. I’m not his mother and he was fine before I met him, you know what I’m saying?” (Martin produced several songs on Witness.)

The whole piece is an interesting snapshot of a singer who’s embraced a “conscious” persona in recent months, to mixed success. If you have been at all baffled by her public actions in the buildup to Witness, you’ll get a better idea of why she’s acting this way. She talks at length about her newfound “wokeness,” which she attributes to Hillary Clinton. (Perry was a very visible surrogate for Clinton, during last year’s presidential campaign.)

“People are waking up and we wouldn’t have… we would have continued in the same pattern, in the same way, in the same comfort, in the same utopia,” she said. “We’re waking up, we’re all voicing our opinions, we’re all getting more educated, we know the names of [members of] Parliament and the names of [United States senators] more than we know the names of band members these days. That’s how it should be, because those people actually help change our lives, sometimes.”

She also, uh, compared herself to Socrates. “I’ve got a massive crush on Socrates. I’m like, dude! The guy that asked too many questions. Me too!” Very interesting, yes. Read the whole thing here.