All that for a dollar?
Nah, that was the motivation for Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2016 lawsuit to fight a lawsuit that accused her of sending a fellow skier “completely flying” at a posh Utah ski resort.
he got it when a the jury found him not guilty In retaliation, he was given exactly the $1 he asked for in his countersuit. As a court reporter read the verdict, most of her supporters in the courtroom gallery gasped, while Paltrow sat next to her lawyer and avoided showing emotion that could be interpreted as surprise or guilt. Could have done.
Hollywood lawyers and publicists say that she can also come forward in the court of public opinion.
“It’s not often that you get to go through the whole expense and time and one dollar litigation,” said Trey Lovell, a Los Angeles attorney. “But she wanted to turn it into a positive as a way of saying ‘I’m not going to take advantage of this’ and ‘I’m a good person.'”
During the trial of Terry Sanderson v. Gwyneth Paltrow at the Park City District Courthouse on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Park City, Dr. Irving Sher shows a crash simulation. Photo Credit: Reuters
The actress-turned-influencer narrowly avoided making any memorable missteps during the eight-day trial, which she attended every day as spectators in Park City, Utah, and watched closely around the world. She even ended things on a classy note when she stopped before leaving the courtroom and patted the accuser on the shoulder to wish her good luck.
Legal analyst and former Los Angeles deputy district attorney Emily D. Baker said, “She came across very well on the stand.” “She was engaging, she was assertive, but she was never aggressive. And it actually turned out that she had empathy for what happened to this plaintiff.
When Terri Sanderson, 76, filed the lawsuit in 2019, it was the kind of case that seemed to be crying out for a speedy, confidential settlement, typical of lawsuits against celebrities. Instead, it stuck through testing for four years.
“I felt my integrity was compromised by admitting a false claim,” Paltrow posted to her 8.3 million Instagram followers following the verdict.
Sanderson herself later questioned whether the lawsuit was worth it and said she believed people naturally trust celebrities like Paltrow.
Juror Samantha Imrie said in an interview on Good Morning America that it was the evidence, not Paltrow’s personality, that influenced the jury. She said that Sanderson was telling “his truth”, but thought it was “distorted”. Imrie, a 31-year-old nurse, said she found Paltrow’s testimony convincing.
“I think, you know, I had in my mind, ‘Yeah, this woman is an actress,’ and you know, I took that into account,” Imrie said. “But, I didn’t think she had any reason to lie under oath. She’s always in the limelight, so she always has to be honest.
Holly Baird, a publicist who handles major celebrity crises, including several court cases, says that while trials have potential downsides, there’s no reason for famous people to avoid them at all costs.
“I don’t see it as a downfall for him,” Baird said. “It’s not like a murder case or anything. It humanizes it. People have similar stories.
There were moments of potential loss, when Paltrow, responding to a question about the loss, said she had “lost half a day of skiing,” admitted paying nearly $9,000 for skiing instruction to her then-young children, and told that’s why he let his ski instructor stay behind on Sanderson to check on and exchange information. As he waited to be dropped down the mountain by the ski patrol, she followed her children Moses and Seb down the mountain, testifying that she was used to working for him.
But the honest answer probably didn’t do her any harm.
“They live in a different world and it becomes their normal, but people are going to believe it,” Lowell said. “You can have that and people are going to know and accept it. You just have to appear humble.
“I think she was authentic,” he said. “He’s with his kids, he’s worried about them.”
The jury clearly favored Paltrow enough, returning after only 2 1/2 hours to give her a landslide victory that accused Sanderson of 100% collusion. Paltrow was awarded the $1 requested in her countersuit, a symbolic amount that mirrors Taylor Swift’s response to a radio host’s defamation lawsuit. Swift was awarded $1 in 2017. He may also be given money to pay for the lawyer’s fees, the decision rests with the judge. It hadn’t posted the decision on the court online until Friday.
His suit sought more than $300,000, although in closing arguments, his attorneys estimated damages at more than $3.2 million.
Trial lawyers have been known to regularly engage in friendly repartee with witnesses to try and cultivate empathy among the jury. But many observers thought Sanderson’s attorney, Kristin VanOrman, did the actor a huge favor when she appeared charmed by Paltrow several times while she was on the stand.
When VanOrman asked Paltrow her height and she replied “just under 5’10”, VanOrman replied, “I’m so jealous! I feel like I’m shrinking. I’m just 5’5”. You have to wear heels to make it.”
VanOrman’s efforts to flag Paltrow up for the jury were bigger than the man she bumped into, with the actor saying: “They’re so nice.”
Lowell said it was so “bizarre and ineffective” that he thought VanOrman was Paltrow’s lawyer when he first tuned in.
“It was funny,” she said. “The jury sees this and thinks that if the opposing counsel likes her then it shouldn’t be so bad. She looked star-struck.
Once one of the most ubiquitous leading ladies in Hollywood, the Oscar winner has taken on fewer and fewer roles in recent years. Many now identify him more with his wellness-and-lifestyle company Goop, whose offerings have earned him derision in some quarters as the quintessential out-of-touch peddler of celebrity woo-woo.
But it also makes Paltrow her own boss, someone who doesn’t mind others for work, and has earned her a devoted group of client-fans.
“Gwyneth has such a following in lifestyle and wellness brands, and people love to see the other side of her life like that,” Baird said. “I think her PR team should be using it. She’s getting more TV time than any other way.
Paltrow’s fight to clear her name resonated with many of her fans, including braving a blizzard to fill the gallery of the Park City courtroom for two weeks.
“When you’re a celebrity you know you’re going to get some of it, but this was completely over the top,” said Ann Malcolm, a Park City local who enjoys skiing at Deer Valley, Mt. Where Paltrow and Sanderson crashed.
A crowd made up of locals and some who had traveled from California to catch a glimpse of the trial took selfies, showed each other mockups of T-shirts that read “#Gwynnocent” and applauded Paltrow and Both fought to clear their names.
“They thought it would be an easy pay day,” said David Maddo, a retired dentist and avid skier who participated in several days of court proceedings. “I was impressed by the fact that she said ‘No, I’m not going to do that.'”