Gwyneth Paltrow ‘not a liar’ but wrong about skiing accident, jurors say

Gwyneth Paltrow “is not a liar” but she is wrong about what she believes happened during a skiing accident seven years ago, a US court has heard.

The Oscar-winning actress’ opinion of how events played out during the 2016 collision was “candidly expressed” but incorrect, jurors in Utah heard.

Ms Paltrow is accused of “beating up” retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, leaving him with several broken ribs and serious brain injuries.

She has denied the claims, alleging that Mr. Sanderson crashed into her at the Deer Valley resort in Utah causing her to miss “half a day of skiing.”

Closing arguments took place in front of a packed courtroom Thursday as the high-profile trial drew to a close, with Sanderson’s lawyers suggesting that he be awarded more than $3 million in damages.

Robert Sykes, representing Mr. Sanderson, was the first to address the court, telling the jury that his client “never came home” from the mountain after the collision.

“Gwyneth Paltrow in this case is not a liar. Terry Sanderson is not a liar,” she said.

“Gwyneth is a good person. She is a good mother and she loves her children and is passionate about things.

“I think she believes, and I believe Gwyneth Paltrow when she says ‘Terry punched me in the back’ – that’s a sincere belief, but the problem is that sincere belief doesn’t make it so.”

Terry Sanderson
Terry Sanderson, the man who sued Gwyneth Paltrow, arrives at court in Park City, Utah (Rick Bowmer, Pool/AP)

Mr Sykes continued: “Often the people involved in these types of events have totally different views.

“We have nothing against Gwyneth because of her point of view; she expresses herself truthfully, but she is wrong based on the evidence. And Terry is right.”

Fellow skier Craig Ramon, who gave evidence that Ms Paltrow had collided with Mr Sanderson, had been the only person to have witnessed the collision and “had no dog in the fight”, the court heard.

“There’s an eyewitness, Craig Ramon … he saw everything, he saw the impact and he’s the only one who saw it,” Sykes said.

“He’s not close to Terry, twice they went for garlic burgers…he doesn’t have a dog in the fight. He has no reason, no motive to fake this.”

Sykes said he had found the evidence from Ms Paltrow’s ski instructor, Eric Christiansen, to be “incredible and inconsistent”, and believed there had been a “cover-up” by the Deer Valley resort about what had happened. .

He added: “That day Terry left his house to go skiing…he looked forward to a fun day of skiing like so many days in his life, and he never came home that night like Terry himself. He never came home, figuratively speaking.

“Terry has tried to come down from that mountain, but it’s actually still there. Part of Terry will always be (there).”

Mr Sykes added: “He has spent hours and hours trying to get better. If you’ve heard anything about him, he’s almost extreme in trying to get better.

“We hope it will help bring Terry home from that mountain with a fair verdict today.”

Lawrence Buhler, who is also representing Sanderson, suggested that the jury award Sanderson more than $3 million.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow (Rick Bowmer/AP)

“You have the power here, before we were only discussing and presenting evidence… but now the judge is going to hand over the case to you. This is where you decide what happens next,” he said.

Buhler said Sanderson had told him he would prefer to “go back in time”, but he put a total sum of $3,276,000 (£2,645,861).

Writing on a whiteboard, Mr. Buhler explained his job, saying: “Sixteen hours a day, 365 days a year…Terry is likely to live another 10 years, although we expect him to live much longer…that’s 17 years.

“There is no price you can put on Terry’s time, but what is the value that has been taken away from Terry?

“Sixteen for 365, for 17, for… I’m going to say $33 (£26). This equation is $3,276,000.”

He added: “This case is not about a celebrity… it is about a man’s life.”

Last week, both Ms. Paltrow and Mr. Sanderson took the witness stand to tell their version of events.

Throughout the trial, jurors also heard from a variety of medical experts, ski instructors, and family members of Mr. Sanderson and Ms. Paltrow, including the actress’s children, Apple and Moses Martin.

Jurors will be sent to deliberate their verdicts in the case after closing arguments by both sides conclude.


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