Mystery Surrounds Accuser’s ‘I’m Famous’ Message After Skiing Accident
Footage sent by Gwyneth Paltrow’s accuser to his family shortly after their skiing collision in which he boasted it would make him “famous” has vanished, the court heard.
The Hollywood star and CEO of lifestyle brand Goop is being sued by Terry Sanderson, 76, a retired optometrist, who claims he rammed him on the slopes of Flagstaff Mountain at Deer Valley Resort in 2016.
Mr Sanderson is seeking $300,000 (£250,000) in damages after he alleged Paltrow crashed into him and caused serious and lasting brain damage.
It emerged on the fourth day of the eight-day trial in Utah on Friday that hours after he was released from hospital, Mr Sanderson sent a message to friends and family with the subject “I’m famous…to what price” with a link to what is believed to be GoPro video footage.
However, by the time the communications were made available to Paltrow’s legal team, the link was dead and it was unclear what was in it.
Asked by Paltrow’s lawyer what they claim is “the most important piece of evidence”, Mr Sanderson’s daughter, Polly Sanderson-Grasham – a recipient of the email – claimed not to remember this link.
“I had a skiing accident three weeks before my father,” she told jurors, explaining her lack of memory. “I didn’t sleep well. I also had a child aged four and eight to look after, so my memory of that time is very hazy.”
The footage was not found or included as evidence in the lawsuit, but the actor’s attorneys have suggested it could have been crucial in establishing blame in the case.
Paltrow has previously called the lawsuit an attempt to exploit her fame and celebrity.
The debates so far have touched on themes ranging from skier etiquette to the power – and burden – of fame. The amount of money at stake is relatively small, with Mr Sanderson’s lawyer telling the jury the trial is about ‘value, not cost’.
The fourth day of the civil trial rocked the medical witnesses called by the plaintiff.
Dr. Richard Boehne, a neurologist, said on Friday he believed Paltrow hitting Mr. Sanderson from behind on the slope was the only possible account “given all of the facts given to me and the nature injuries suffered” by the optometrist. .
Dr Boehne calculated causation according to “classical physics”, he said, but admitted he “estimated” Paltrow’s weight at 130 pounds (9.3 stone).
The judge handling the case previously denied an unusual request from the Hollywood star to bring ‘treats’ to Utah courtroom staff.
During Thursday’s proceedings, Paltrow’s attorney, Stephen Owens, asked the judge if his team could deliver the treats to the ushers as a thank you for their service.
It was not known what gifts she intended to distribute. The actress-turned-celebrity influencer has a range of products including eye creams, jade eggs and a ‘This Smells Like My Vagina’ candle.
“My client’s private security wanted to bring some treats to the bailiffs for their help,” Mr Owens said. “So I wanted to do it transparently and see if there were any objections.”
Lawyers for Mr. Sanderson then opposed the request, arguing that the defense had not completed them before presenting the request to the judge.
“OK, there is an objection so thank you, but no thank you,” ordered a bewildered judge, Kent Holmberg. “If the parties decide to do it later, that’s fine too.”
The 50-year-old actress is expected to speak later on Friday, while her children, Apple and Moses Martin, are expected to speak up for their mother next week.