The jury in Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision trial will likely hear from her husband Brad Falchuk today as proceedings near a close. Yesterday, depositions from her now-teenage children, Apple and Moses, were read to the jury.
Paltrow’s defense has used a number of digitally created animations to illustrate different angles of the actress’ version of events. One showed ski instructor Eric Christiansen’s view of the accident, while others showed a bird’s-eye view, along with a view from the side.
In an equally theatrical display last week, Sanderson’s lawyers tried to get Paltrow to do a reenactment of events, but the judge put the kibosh on it.
Retired optometrist Terry Sanderson sued Paltrow for $300,000, claiming he was severely injured when Paltrow rammed into him from behind during a day on the slopes at Utah’s Deer Valley Resort.
JURORS HEAR HOW GWYNETH PALTROW WAS ‘SHAKEN UP’ AFTER SKI COLLISION IN DEPOSITION FROM MOSES AND APPLE
Paltrow took the stand Friday and explained that she initially thought she was being sexually assaulted during the 2016 accident.
“I was confused at first, and I didn’t know exactly what was happening. It’s a very strange thing to be happening on a ski slope,” she recalled. “I froze, and I would say I got very upset a couple seconds later.”
Paltrow explained why she initially thought she might have been getting sexually assaulted during questioning by Sanderson’s lawyer.
“So that was a quick thought that went through my head when I was trying to reconcile what was happening,” Paltrow explained. “Two skis came between my skis forcing my legs apart and then a body pressed against me.
“My brain was trying to make sense of what is happening,” she added. “I thought, ‘Is this a practical joke? Is someone doing something perverted?’ My mind was going very, very quickly, and my mind was trying to ascertain what happened.”
The “Shakespeare in Love” actress then claimed the pair fell together to the right as if they were spooning.
GWYNETH PALTROW TESTIFIES IN SKI COLLISION TRIAL THAT SHE INITIALLY BELIEVED ACCIDENT WAS A SEXUAL ASSAULT
However, Sanderson has maintained that Paltrow skied into him from behind.
“There was nothing in front of me…I just remember everything was great, and then I heard something I’ve never heard at a ski resort,” the retired optometrist said.
“It was like somebody was out of control and hit a tree and was going to die, and that’s what I had until I was hit.”
Sanderson’s friend Craig Ramon, who was skiing with him that day in 2016, also claimed Paltrow skied into Sanderson from behind. In his version of events, Sanderson fell forward, face planting in the snow with his skis spread eagle.
The jury heard from biomechanical engineer Irving Scher on Tuesday, who explained Paltrow’s version of events matches the laws of physics.
“For [Craig] Ramon’s version, I couldn’t get it to work,” Scher told the jury. “It doesn’t match with the laws of physics. The complete part of his testimony just doesn’t fit.”
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Throughout Paltrow’s trial, the word “uphill” has emerged as synonymous with “guilty,” as attorneys have focused on one of the code’s main tenets: The skier who is downhill or ahead on a slope has the right of way.
While there are minor differences in state laws when it comes to finding fault, “in court it becomes a question of who was the uphill skier,” said Denver attorney Jim Chalat, who has litigated cases in Utah and Colorado.
“It’s the uphill skier who is almost always in a position to cause the crash,” Chalat said. “If you’re skiing too fast for your own ability and you can’t carve out a turn, and you hit someone, you’re going to be in trouble.”
Paltrow and Sanderson’s legal fight is a result of the 2016 ski collision that left Sanderson severely injured, according to a 2019 lawsuit. Jurors have heard testimony from doctors speaking on Sanderson’s medical condition prior to and following the collision.
Sanderson accused the Goop founder of skiing off after the accident, which left him with a “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life,” along with emotional distress and disfigurement, according to the lawsuit.
Sanderson originally sued the actress, Deer Valley Resort and an instructor for $3.1 million and claimed he was a victim of a hit-and-run. A judge dismissed the claim, and Deer Valley Resort and the instructor were removed from the lawsuit.
Paltrow has filed a countersuit, claiming that Sanderson previously admitted he didn’t have a clear memory of the accident. The actress is seeking a judgment for attorney fees plus $1.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.