The “Anti-Hero” songstress, 33, was awarded the same monetary prize in August 2017 after accusing DJ David Mueller of sexual assault for allegedly groping her back in 2013. Swift’s attorneys referred to the $1 as “symbolic of the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation,” a phrase that was seemingly echoed by Paltrow, 50, during her witness testimony.
“It’s an actual dollar that I’m asking for. It’s symbolic because the damages would actually be more,” the Goop founder said during her courtroom testimony on Friday, March 24.
In response, Sanderson’s attorney Kristin VanOrman asked if Paltrow came up with $1 based on Swift’s victory.
“I think I said [when you first asked me] that I had not been familiar with [the 2017 trial] but I since am,” the Shakespeare in Love actress replied. “I would not say we are good friends, we are friendly; I’ve taken my kids to one of her concerts before, but we don’t talk very often.”
VanOrman then asked if Paltrow — who shares daughter Apple, 18, and son Moses, 16, with ex-husband Chris Martin — has ever presented the Grammy winner with “personal, intimate gifts for Christmas.” While Paltrow’s own attorneys questioned its relevance to the case, VanOrman is seemingly referring to her December 2021 Goop ad. In the holiday commercial, Paltrow can be seen stuffing gift bags of her brand’s products for various celebrities — including a vibrator that was addressed to Swift. Judge Kent Holmberg sustained the Shallow Hal actress’ team’s request before Paltrow had a chance to answer.
Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired doctor, initially sued Paltrow for $3.1 million in January 2019 and claimed that the Iron Man star severely injured him when they crashed into one another during a ski run in Deer Valley, Utah, three years earlier. The optometrist — who is now only seeking $300,000 in damages — alleged that Paltrow quickly fled the scene after the crash.
The lifestyle guru, for her part, refuted Sanderson’s allegations and insisted that she — and her ski instructor — remained on the scene to render aid and only left when it seemed that he was not seriously injured. “This lawsuit is completely without merit, and we expect to be vindicated,” she said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time.
One month later, Paltrow filed a motion to countersue Sanderson in order to defend herself from his “meritless” claim. The trial began on Tuesday, March 21, at the Park City District Court in Utah, in which the MCU star has been present each day.
Paltrow took the stand on Friday, where she claimed that she initially believed that the crash with the former physician was a result of sexual assault.
“That was a quick thought that went through my head when I tried to reconcile what was happening,” Paltrow recalled during her testimony. “I was skiing and two skis came between my skis forcing my legs apart and then there was a body pressing against me and there was a very strange grunting noise, so my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening. I thought, ‘Is this a practical joke? Is someone doing something perverted? This is really, really strange.’ My mind was going very quickly, and I was trying to ascertain what was happening.”