PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4) — In a non-traditional twist, Gwyneth Paltrow was called to the stand by her opposition this afternoon in the Deer Valley Ski Resort crash injury case involving Dr. Terry Sanderson.
Sanderson’s attorneys spent most of their direct examination trying to replay the crash, which Paltrow repeatedly testified was Sanderson’s fault.
Paltrow testified that she was skiing downhill with her children, Apple and Moses, when a man skied up behind her, with his skis sliding between hers, moving her legs apart. He “pressed” his body against hers, making a “grunting noise” before the two fell to the ground several seconds later.
Paltrow told the court that, in the moment, she originally thought she might have been in the midst of a sexual assault due to the confusion.
Sanderson’s defense attorney, Kristin van Orman asked why she might have thought it was a sexual assault.
“Was he griding or thrusting?” Van Orman asked.
Paltrow said she is not accusing Sanderson of sexual assault but did originally think it could be a possibility due to the unexpectedness of the collision. She testified that Sanderon only pressed up against her but did not grab or hold on to her. But the situation, she said, caused her to freeze before they fell to the ground, with Paltrow falling on top of Sanderson.
Van Orman attempted to re-enact the moment of the crash. She originally asked if Paltrow could perform the re-enactment, though the judge blocked that request.
Paltrow noted that she stands just under 5’10”, while Sanderson, who was actually in the courtroom today, stands closer to 5’5″. When the two fell, Paltrow said they were “almost spooning.”
After getting up from the ground, Paltrow testified she began yelling at Sanderson. Paltrow said that Sanderson muttered, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Van Orman pressed Paltrow on whether or not she ever checked on Sanderson, and she said she did not.
“I think you have to keep in mind, when you’re the victim of a crash, your psychology is not thinking of the person who perpetrated it,” said Paltrow.
Paltrow testified that she did not remain to check on Sanderson, saying that one of her children’s ski instructors helped Sanderson to his feet and checked on him. She testified that Sanderson said he was fine. Paltrow said ski instructor Eric Christiansen said he would fill out any incident report and give Paltrow’s information to Sanderson. Paltrow then said she finished her run and met her family for lunch.
Paltrow testified that her knee felt “overstretched” and her back was sore from the collision, and she had a massage after lunch, though she did not seek medical attention.
However, Van Orman asked Paltrow if she was “aware of common decency” in checking on Sanderson, who sustained four broken ribs and a concussion. Paltrow admitted she did not personally handle any paperwork or have any other contact with Sanderson to check on him.
In her final move of direct examination, Van Orman referred to Paltrow’s countersuit against Sanderson for a single dollar in damages. However, Van Orman said that Paltrow is, in fact, also seeking attorney’s fees, and called the $1 claim “a mischaracterization.” Paltrow said she is only asking for a single dollar for herself. Because her counterclaim is also asking for attorney’s fees to be reimbursed, Van Orman
Paltrow also testified that, despite what other witnesses said, she did not let out a scream. She said, however, it was possible that it could have happened as she fell, but she had no recollection of a scream.
Paltrow also said witness Craig Ramone was not telling the truth when he testified as to what he saw in the crash. Ramone, she said, was 40 feet away and colorblind, which she felt meant he would not have been able to tell the skiers apart.
She also countered Ramone’s claim that Sanderson was “out cold” after the collision. Paltrow she did not witness Sanderson being unconscious.
Paltrow also said Ramone referred to her companion at the time as “the Coldplay guy,” referring to Paltrow’s first husband, Chris Martin. Martin is the lead singer and musician with the band Coldplay. The two divorced in 2016. Paltrow was actually at the resort with her boyfriend at the time, Brad Falchuck. Falchuck is now Paltrow’s husband.
The trial will resume again at 9 a.m. MDT Monday morning.