“I was skiing and looking down hill, as you do and I was skied directly into by Mr. Sanderson,” insisted Gwyneth Paltrow today in a Park City courtroom.
Stating that she thought for a second the 2016 collusion with septuagenarian Terry Sanderson was a “sexual assault” and “he was making some strange noises that sounded male,”
In front of Utah Judge Kent Holmberg, Sanderson himself and lawyers for both sides, Paltrow said in testimony Friday “that was a quick thought that went through my head. When I was trying to reconcile what was happening.”
Initially suing the Oscar winner for $3 million out of the encounter with Paltrow on Utah’s Deer Valley Resort’s ski slopes, the retired optometrist saw his case whittled down to a pursuit of $300,000 in damages. Shakespeare in Love actor Paltrow is countersuing Sanderson for damages of $1 and undoubtedly much higher attorney’s fees.
While delivering a shout out to the skills of paparazzi, Paltrow noted that Sanderson and no one else knew that she was a Hollywood movie star when the accident happened. Paltrow also noted that she “has no witnesses who saw the collusion.”
Now 76-years old, Sanderson alleges that he was hit on the slopes seven year ago by Paltrow as she was skiing with an instructor and group, including her two children and now husband producer Brad Falchuk. The plaintiff, who has been in court all week, says he suffered several broken ribs and a brain injury from the alleged blow. He also claims Paltrow and her instructor skied off leaving him confused and shaken, and without trying to make sure he received medical care.
As she stated Friday, Paltrow has said before that in fact it was Sanderson who slammed into her and skied right “into my back.” The witness said that she could not remember if she “fell over with Mr. Sanderson,” but admitted that they both went down. “I turned around and yelled at him,” Paltrow said. “I was very angry at what had happened.”
“You skied into my f-ing back,” a now openly embarrassed Paltrow said she “screamed” at Sanderson in front of her son. All agreed that Sanderson mumbled “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Paltrow “remembered moving away from Mr. Sanderson” before soon leaving the scene. She could not recall if she asked Sanderson if he was okay before going away. But, making a reference to Tinseltown assistants and others, she did remember that her instructor would “represent” her in the accident and told her to “go ahead.”
The crash occurred as Paltrow was heading down the hill for lunch – which they did. With Sanderson’s lawyers attempting again and again to trip up the witness on “inconstancies,” Paltrow said today that she stuck around long enough to say he was okay, stand up.”
Paltrow also admitted it was “fair” to say she was not there when paperwork was exchanged and in fact no one among her party saw the collusion, including ski instructor Christianson. “Eric did on my behalf,” Paltrow reiterated on who filled out forms about the accident. The actor did say that she did not believe Craig Ramone, a man “40 feet away and color blind” actually saw what happened and his testimony for Sanderson is wrong. “I don’t know if he’s lying …what he is saying is not the truth.”
“Mr. Sanderson categorically hit me on that ski slope …it’s the truth.”
Earlier Paltrow stated “I don’t remember” over whether her children were seeking her attention on the slopes as the accident happened, the actor’s 2020 virtual deposition was put before her. In those statements of three years ago, she clearly laid out that she was paying attention to one of her children when the incident occurred.
While it looked touch and go for a while if Paltrow, who has also been in the Park City courtroom all week, would take the stand today, the actor was up soon after the afternoon recess.
This being a celebrity case and in the media spotlight, it wasn’t long into Paltrow’s testimony before the Goop founder’s lawyers objected to questioning and everything stopping as they attorneys went to talk with the judge.
Earlier in the day, Paltrow lawyer Stephen Owen got extremely personal with the Sanderson family, their dynamic and mental health history. In an obvious effort to undermine the elder Sanderson’s credibility. Friday’s effort by the often-curt Owen followed the attorney apologizing on Thursday to offspring Polly Sanderson Grasham for being an “ass” in his cross-examination. Today, Owen admitted his approach is why “people don’t like lawyers.”
On a short break right now as lawyers argue over whether Paltrow is “accident prone,” the actor’s testimony is expected last for the rest of the day and into next week. Along with Sanderson himself and Falchuk, witness’ for the defense/counter plaintiff will be called in the days after Paltrow finishes her stint on the stand.