Gwyneth Paltrow rose to fame as a young actress, but her notoriety soared when she pivoted to businesswoman in 2008 by founding Goop, a lifestyle brand that famously sold vaginal wellness eggs that were the subject of a $145,000 false advertising settlement.
In recent weeks, an interview about her near-total liquid diet of coffee and bone broth set off an internet uproar calling her an “almond mom”— a term referring to a parent that imparts unhealthy eating habits to their children.
Now she’s at the center of a trial that amounts to a fierce debate over a simple question: Who skied into whom? The trial of Ms. Paltrow vs. Terry Sanderson, the plaintiff, has been live streamed from a Park City, Utah, courtroom on multiple platforms, including Court TV and the Law & Crime Network.
Although the closing arguments were presented on Thursday, the rapt online audience appears hungry for more.
They have made memes out of clips of her bemoaning the loss of a half-day of skiing. They have coveted — and criticized — her courtroom fashion choices. And they are picking sides: Gwynocent or Gwyuilty.
A few highlights of the reaction:
The odd rapport between Ms. Paltrow and the plaintiff’s lawyers has been a particular highlight. Ms. Paltrow once casually referred to one of Mr. Sanderson’s lawyers, Kristin VanOrman, by her first name. Perhaps it was in response to Ms. VanOrman’s relaxed approach — asking Ms. Paltrow if she was friends with Taylor Swift, and when she asked Ms. Paltrow’s height, noting how “jealous” she was of the actress’s 5-foot-10 frame.
Ms. VanOrman added, “I have to wear four-inch heels just to make it to 5’5.”
There were even comparisons to another celebrity family, albeit a fictional one, from the HBO series “Succession.”
Others compared it to another life-of-the-rich-and-famous television show, “White Lotus.”
At one point, Ms. Paltrow’s lawyers brought an unusual request to the judge overseeing the civil trial, Kent R. Holmberg.
It involved something sweet.
“Security for my client wanted to bring in treats for the bailiffs for how helpful they’ve been,” the lawyer, Stephen W. Owens, said. “So I wanted to do that transparently and see if there were any objections.”
A lawyer for Mr. Sanderson swiftly objected. And Judge Holmberg declared that no treats would be allowed, before anyone got to find what they were.
“Let them know: thank you, but no thank you,” the judge said.
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