“Gwyneth Paltrow is on trial for her role in a ski accident at an upscale Utah resort” may sound like a random assortment of words (or the log line for a new Ryan Murphy courtroom drama that I would absolutely watch), but in fact, that’s exactly what’s unfolding at a courtroom in Park City. There, the actress and wellness influencer is being sued by a man who alleges that she crashed into him from behind while skiing recklessly in 2016.
Below, get all the details on the trial, how Paltrow has responded, and more:
What is Paltrow actually being sued for?
Terry Sanderson, the 76-year-old retired optometrist suing Paltrow, is claiming that her reckless skiing sent him “absolutely flying” and left him with permanent brain damage. “I got hit in my back so hard and right at my shoulder blades and it felt like it was perfectly centered and the fists and the poles were right at the bottom of my shoulder blades,” Sanderson on the witness stand. “I’ve never been hit that hard…All I saw was a whole lot of snow.”
How has Paltrow responded to the allegations?
Paltrow testified on Friday that Sanderson actually ran into her from behind, saying: “There was a body pressing against me and a very strange grunting noise. My brain was trying to make sense of what was happening.” Paltrow acknowledges that she yelled at Sanderson after the crash and did not stop to ascertain if he was unhurt, but she also claims she stood nearby as her family’s ski instructors promised to file an incident report.
What kind of consequences is Paltrow facing?
Sanderson is suing her for more than $300,000 after having his original $3.1 million lawsuit thrown out by a judge, but it should be noted that Paltrow is at the center of a civil case, not a criminal one, meaning that even if Sanderson wins, she won’t be facing jail time. Paltrow, for her part, is countersuing for $1 and a reimbursal of attorney fees.
How has Paltrow’s fame affected the trial?
Sanderson’s lawyer Kristin Vanorman has gone viral for her repeated grilling of Paltrow, asking at one point if she was friends with Taylor Swift, who memorably sued radio DJ David Mueller for $1 in 2017. (Paltrow denied this, saying: “I would not say we’re good friends. We are friendly. I’ve taken my kids to one of her concerts before, but we don’t talk very often.”)
Who else is set to testify in this case?
Paltrow’s husband, TV producer Brad Falchuk, and her two children, Apple and Moses Martin, were supposed to testify on Monday, but that plan got delayed for scheduling reasons; Sanderson’s daughters and friends have also testified, as have several ski instructors and members of the ski patrol who were present when the crash occurred.