Gwyneth Paltrow’s US lawsuit helped ‘humanise celebrities,’ says foreman

Gwyneth Paltrow’s high-profile US lawsuit helped “humanize celebrities” for jurors, the case’s foreman has said.

Last week, the Oscar-winning actress won the civil lawsuit, brought by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, over a 2016 skiing accident.

Ms Paltrow was cleared of all blame for the incident, which occurred at the Deer Valley resort in Utah, which left Mr Sanderson with several broken ribs and head injuries.

Jurors deliberated for just over two hours before returning a verdict in his favor and awarding him a $1 award.

APTOPIX Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Suit
Last week, the Oscar-winning actress won the civil lawsuit brought by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson over a 2016 skiing accident. (Rick Bowmer/AP, Pool)

Speaking to Court TV, jury foreman Don said he had appreciated hearing the actress talk about her childhood experiences skiing with her father.

“(The trial) was great to see how it works because, you know, you watch Law & Order and you see this other stuff and it’s so scripted and it’s so perfect and obviously that’s not the way this trial played out,” he said. saying.

“The whole experience humanized celebrities a little bit more for me because (Mrs. Paltrow) told the story of going skiing with her dad — that’s what the mountains are about for all of us who love to ski and snowboard and ride. what we do. .”

Don said that he had focused on the body language of Ms. Paltrow and Mr. Sanderson as they gave testimony.

She told Court TV that Ms Paltrow’s recollection of the incident, in which she said she had briefly wondered if she was being assaulted, showed a “genuine human reaction”.

“I hope she’s never had any kind of negative stuff like that, but that’s going to be a reaction that a real person would have,” he said.

“It just humanized her a little bit more for me because…if I ever fell victim to something like that, that might be a reaction that people would have.

“So that seemed like a legitimate thing that you could think about for half a second (and)…again, it made it more real to me that that was his initial reaction.”

Don also said that he had not been convinced by Mr. Sanderson’s evidence, noting that he seemed to “enjoy” being praised and complimented.

He said “little things” had helped inform his decision, including Sanderson’s lawyers’ discussion of how much money they could make from the case.

“You can’t say ‘the first thing we talked about was how much money we would potentially get,’ and then tell each other all the time that it’s not about the money,” he said.

Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Suit
Gwyneth Paltrow talks with retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, left, as she leaves the courtroom after the verdict was read in her trial (Rick Bowmer/AP, Pool)

“It’s like, of course, it’s about the money guys, we’re not here for Habitat for Humanity.”

Don told Court TV that he had finally done “what I think is right” in deciding the verdict.

“You arbitrarily apply laws to different people in different ways… (but) I said, ‘I have to go home and sleep with myself at night,'” he said.

“So I’m going to do what I think is right in my heart… but I want to be fair and right with everyone. All we want in life is justice.”

Ms Paltrow said she was “satisfied with the outcome” of the trial following its conclusion Thursday after two weeks of testing in Utah.

In a statement posted to her Instagram Story, she said she felt “accepting a false claim compromised my integrity,” and thanked the jurors for their “consideration” in handling the case.


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