Terry Sanderson Testifies in Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Accident Trial

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Terry Sanderson, the retired 76-year-old optometrist who alleges that actress and wellness brand entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow hit him on the ski slopes of Deer Valley Resort in 2016, took the stand in court today. The trial began last week in Park City, Utah, with Paltrow herself testifying that Sanderson actually hit her, resulting in minor pain in her knee that she did not immediately seek medical attention for.

Sanderson alleges that his collision with Paltrow resulted in “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement.” He is seeking $300,000 in damages. Paltrow is countersuing Sanderson for $1 and the cost of her legal fees.

In today’s testimony, Sanderson delivered a passionate recount of the events that transpired on the slopes. He went on to explain that he does not believe in “celebrity worship,” insinuating that he is not suing Paltrow for money and notoriety, but on principle.

Sanderson additionally went on to detail about his alleged emotional damages that he has endured in the years since the crash. He recalled blacking out on the slopes after hearing what he refers to as a “blood curdling scream,” and discussed his distress at not being able to ski anymore.

His detailed testimony felt at odds with his claims of severe brain injuries resulting from the collision, as noted by some Twitter users who are keeping up with the trial.


Other viewers felt that Sanderson was feigning emotion during his testimony, and that he appeared to have too many clear memories of the day to have actually been injured as severely as he described. These criticisms specifically refer to the portion of his testimony in which he discussed his relationship with his daughters.

Following Sanderson’s testimony, Paltrow’s ski instructor Eric Christensen testified. Christensen was hired by Paltrow to teach her children and now step children to ski on the day of the incident. Paltrow’s legal team questioned Christensen over an animated recreation of the collision from Christensen’s point of view–while he did not see the collision, he was skiing alongside Paltrow’s son Moses Martin.

The trial remains ongoing, with family members of both Paltrow and Sanderson set to testify before the jury this week.


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