In the civil trial against Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow for a skiing accident, the US actress has protested her innocence. Not they, but Terry Sanderson, who is suing them, caused the 2016 collision in the Rocky Mountains, Paltrow said on Friday (local time) in front of the court in Park City, Utah.
Retired optometrist Sanderson accuses Paltrow of ramming and seriously injuring her while she was skiing. She drove in a "dangerous" and "reckless" manner, inflicted "four broken ribs and permanent brain damage" on Sanderson and left him unconscious, plaintiff attorney Lawrence Buhler said at the start of the trial on Tuesday.
He estimated the damage caused in this way at $3.3 million (€3.1 million). Paltrow's attorney, Steven Owens, said Sanderson was "obsessed" with the case and making "false allegations." A judge has since dismissed some of the allegations, reducing the potential compensation claim to $300,000.
Paltrow has filed a countersuit: She is demanding a symbolic sum of one dollar from Sanderson and reimbursement of her legal fees. On Friday she was given the opportunity to present her version of events to the court. "Mr. Sanderson certainly hit me on that ski slope and that's the truth," the 50-year-old said under cross-examination.
When Sanderson slipped between her skis from behind, she even thought of a sexual assault at first. "I was skiing and then two skis came in between my skis and pushed my legs apart and then a body was pushing against mine and there was a weird grunting sound," Paltrow said. "I thought: is this some kind of joke? Is someone doing something perverted?"
The accident happened while Paltrow was vacationing with her now-husband Brad Falchuk and their two children from her marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Falchuk and the children Apple and Moses are also said to testify in the process. Sanderson's questioning is also pending. A total of eight trial days are scheduled.
Regarding Sanderson's attorney's allegation that she hit and run, Paltrow said her ski instructor told her she could ski because her daughter was waiting for her down the slope. The ski instructor "stayed and filled out the report and made sure that Mr. Sanderson is okay," said the Oscar winner.
Paltrow also had an explanation for not later inquiring about Sanderson's health: "I think you have to keep in mind that when you're the victim of an accident, psychologically you don't necessarily think about the person who caused it has."