The optometrist, 76, who is suing the Oscar winner, 50, for a 2016 skiing accident, took the stand to recount how Paltrow allegedly crashed into him.
Sanderson said it was his first time at the Utah resort, but he had 37 years of experience on the slopes, identifying as an “advanced intermediate” skier at the time of the incident and enjoying the sport two or three times a week.
He recalled seeing clear signs that said to slow down and noted that he veered to the right to try to avoid the crowd of other skiers. Sanderson claimed that other skiers were going around the same speed as him, and there was allegedly “nothing in front of” him as he skied.
“It takes my breath away because this is hard. I don’t like going through this scene,” Sanderson said. “I just remember everything was great — and then I heard something I’ve never heard at a ski resort and that was a blood curdling scream.”
Sanderson briefly imitated a low-pitched scream before continuing his claims: “And then boom! It was like somebody was out of control and was going to hit a tree and was going to die. And that’s what I had until I was hit.”
Paltrow’s lawyer objected on the grounds of speculation, so in order to clarify, Sanderson’s lawyer asked: “That’s what was going through your mind when you heard that scream?”
The retired doctor replied, “That’s what I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, somebody is out of control, and they’re really seriously out of control.'”
Paltrow was seen with a slight smile and appeared to laugh and shake her head as Sanderson made his claims.
This wasn’t the first time the Goop founder couldn’t contain her incredulity. On Friday, March 24, Paltrow appeared visibly annoyed while listening to testimony from plaintiff Sanderson’s daughter, Shae Sanderson Herath, who identified a photo of a woman who assisted the doctor after the accident.
“I recognize this woman’s smile. I do remember, he had an awful day, but this woman came to his rescue,” Herath said at the time. “She was his angel and taking care of him finally after a long time of being ignored on the mountain.”
The judge instructed the jury to disregard the last part of the witness’ comment as it was “hearsay.”
At that time, the camera panned over to Paltrow, who appeared to be annoyed with Herath’s statement. She crossed her arms and shook her head back and forth with her lips pursed.
Sanderson originally sued Paltrow for $3.1 million back in January 2019 — three years after the incident occurred. He claimed that the Iron Man actress severely injured him when the two crashed into each other while skiing and left the scene. However, the optometrist is now only seeking $300,000 in damages.
Paltrow is countersuing the medical professional. The Shallow Hal star sought out a jury trial and sued Sanderson for a symbolic $1 in damages plus reimbursement for her legal fees “to defend this meritless claim.” She alleges that she was the one who was actually struck by Sanderson.