Gwyneth Paltrow’s civil trial over a collision with another skier in a Utah slope entered its second week on Monday, with the possibility that the actress and entrepreneur would again take the stand. In testimony late Friday, she denied a man’s accusation that she had crashed into him while skiing in 2016.
The man, Terry Sanderson, 76, a retired optometrist, has sued Ms. Paltrow, saying she skied “out of control” during a run at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City, according to court documents. He is expected to take the stand on Monday.
In court documents, he claimed that she hit his back, “knocking him down hard, knocking him out” and causing a traumatic brain injury and four broken ribs, among other serious injuries. He is seeking $300,000 in damages.
Lawyers for Ms. Paltrow, who is countersuing, said Mr. Sanderson was uphill from Ms. Paltrow and “plowed into her back,” causing her to sustain a “full body blow.”
On Friday, Kristin VanOrman, one of Mr. Sanderson’s lawyers, focused questions for Ms. Paltrow on whether she understood ski slope etiquette, and asked her to review her account of what happened. One of the key disputes of the trial has to do with which skier was downhill, and therefore had the right of way; both Ms. Paltrow and Mr. Sanderson have claimed that they were the downhill skier.
Ms. VanOrman appeared to try to draw attention to Ms. Paltrow’s fame and wealth, asking her about the thousands of dollars she paid for ski instruction for her children, Apple and Moses, and whether she was friends with the singer Taylor Swift.
“We are friendly,” Ms. Paltrow said. “We don’t talk very often.”
Ms. Paltrow’s countersuit involves a symbolic $1 and the cost of attorney fees. One of her attorneys, Steve Owens, has repeatedly waved a $1 bill toward the jury.
Mr. Sanderson’s lawyers have said Ms. Paltrow was involved in a hit-and-run, leaving him alone, then denying or covering up the fact that she caused the crash.
“I was not engaging in any risky behavior,” Ms. Paltrow, 50, said on Friday during testimony.
“My daughter was down the hill. My son was to my left. I was skiing. My eyes were not fixated only on my son, when Mr. Sanderson skied directly into my back,” she said.
“He struck me in the back, yes,” she said.
Ms. Paltrow has accused Mr. Sanderson of running into her and using her fame to try to get her to “pay him millions,” according to court documents.
She said that she briefly thought the collision was sexually inappropriate behavior.
“That was a quick thought that went through my head when I was trying to reconcile what was happening,” she testified. “I was skiing and two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart. And then there was a body pressing against me and then there was a very strange grunting noise.”
She said she initially “froze.”
The two then tumbled over. “We fell to the right; somebody must have caught an edge,” she said from the stand, while one of Mr. Sanderson’s lawyer tried to physically re-enact the scene below her. She added: “I fell on his body, he fell on the ground.”
She said she then “moved away” from Mr. Sanderson.
Ms. Paltrow said in her testimony that her ski instructor had told her he was going to leave Ms. Paltrow’s “information” with Mr. Sanderson, and that she should “ski down because my kids were waiting for me.”
Ms. Paltrow said she felt shaky and her knee was bothering her after the collision, and that she later had lunch and a massage.
The trial got underway in a courtroom in Park City last Tuesday.
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