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Gwyneth Paltrow ski trial begins

By Sarah May
|
March 22, 2023

Sued over her alleged role a 2016 ski accident at a Utah resort, longtime liberal Hollywood film star Gwyneth Paltrow appeared in court this week as the trial in the case began in earnest, as the Daily Mail reports.

Paltrow is accused of negligently slamming into retired optometrist Terry Sanderson while descending a run at Deer Valley Resort and causing serious injuries and emotional distress.

Trial testimony begins

Tuesday was the first day of trial testimony in the case against Paltrow, who is being sued by Sanderson for a sum of $300,000.

Taking the stand in the Park City courtroom was Greg Ramone, who was on the slopes with the plaintiff on the fateful day in question and was reportedly the only person to witness the entire chain of events that led to Sanderson's injury.

“We were skiing down the run, and then I heard this scream. I looked over and I see this skier just slam into the back of Terry,” Ramone declared, according to the Mail.

The witness continued, “She slammed him. Very hard. She hit him directly in the back. The tips of his skis go out, and he goes face down, spread-eagle, with Gwyneth on top of him,” and he added that Paltrow did not say anything to Sanderson in the aftermath of the collision, but rather bolted down the mountain.

Divergent recollections

Paltrow, however, has a very different recollection of events, with her attorney asserting in his opening statement that his client was actually the one who was hit while descending the ski slope.

Jurors were told by the star's attorney, as CBS News notes, that the star suffered a “full body blow” from Sanderson and that members of her party checked on him to make sure he was okay – something of which he assured them, according to Paltrow's lawyer.

In support of their claims about Sanderson's post-crash condition, Paltrow's lawyer noted that Sanderson posted on social media a “very happy, smiling picture” of himself being taken back down the hill.

Any lingering health concerns alleged by Sanderson, say Paltrow's attorney, are attributable to brain injuries that predated the ski crash.

What comes next

According to Fox News, the jury is still poised to hear testimony from not only the actress/businesswoman, but also from her current husband Brad Falchuk and her two children, Moses and Apple, all of whom were on the slopes that day, but who did not see the moment of impact between Paltrow and Sanderson.

Things in the courtroom became temporarily heated on Wednesday, when Paltrow's attorney lodged a complaint about a camera he said had been pointed continuously and “directly” at his client.

That, he said, was a violation of the court's decorum order, and he also expressed frustration about photographers and journalists obstructing his client's ability to move in and out of the courthouse freely.

Precisely when Paltrow and members of her immediate family are set to take the stand remained unclear, but it seems certain that media interest in the proceedings will remain high throughout the remainder of the trial.

Prominent progressive

Paltrow's longstanding support of liberal causes and candidates is perhaps de rigueur among the Hollywood elites within her social circle, but for others, it has engendered a sense of schadenfreude for those who believe she may have harmed a fellow skier with impunity and expected to suffer no consequences simply because of her fame.

Examples of Paltrow's left-wing political largesse include a 2019 fundraiser on behalf of then-Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, which she co-hosted with West Wing actor Bradley Whitford, as well as a 2014 backyard event with then-President Barack Obama, designed to drum up support for midterm congressional candidates.

“You're so handsome that I can't speak properly,” Paltrow swooned at the time, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Though it remains to be seen precisely how Paltrow's civil trial will ultimately turn out, testimony given in the case thus far could not be more at odds. As such, the jury will have its collective hands full in terms of assessing the credibility of each side's witnesses.