Gwyneth Paltrow takes the stand in ski-collision trial

Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Gwyneth Paltrow took the stand Friday in her civil trial over allegations that she negligently crashed into a retired optometrist in 2016, allegedly causing lasting damage.

Paltrow has been on hand in the Park City, Utah, courtroom since the trial began Tuesday and has listened to testimony from witnesses called by lawyers representing her accuser, Terry Sanderson.

While testifying on Friday, one of Sanderson’s attorneys, Kristin Vanorman, grilled the actor and wellness influencer on her recollection of the details of the incident, as well as her knowledge of ski rules and etiquette.

At one point, when Vanorman asked Paltrow whether she knew of a rule about exchanging contact information at the time of a collision, she deflected, saying her ski instructor promised to give Sanderson her info and told her to ski toward her kids.

“I appreciate that, but my question was, did you know of the rule of skiing that if you are in a collision that you need to share that information?” Vanorman repeated, pressing Paltrow.

“I don’t think I was aware of the rule,” she responded.


Since the lawsuit was originally filed in 2019, Paltrow’s and Sanderson’s memories of the event have almost entirely differed. Jurors must decide whether Paltrow acted negligently during the crash, and much of that turns on who was uphill and who was downhill. A downhill skier has the right of way.

During testimony, Paltrow maintained her position, echoing statements given in her counterclaim and recalling that Sanderson’s “body pressed up into my back, so I froze ... and then it was probably a few good seconds, and then we fell to the right.”

She then said she told Sanderson, “‘You skied directly into my effing back,’ and he said, ‘Oh, sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’”

Earlier in the trial, Greg Ramone, a Sanderson ski buddy who said he witnessed the crash, testified that Paltrow was uphill and had skied into Sanderson.


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