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Gwyneth Paltrow Says She Originally Thought Ski Crash Was a Sexual Assault During Testimony

Gwyneth Paltrow Takes the Stand in Her Skiing Accident Trial
Gwyneth Paltrow Jeff Swinger/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Time for her side of the story. Three days into the trial, Gwyneth Paltrow testified about her 2016 skiing accident.

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Ski Crash Lawsuit: What to Know About Trial

The Goop founder, 50, took the stand on Friday, March 24, to recall the events that took place seven years ago when she and Terry Sanderson crashed into each other while on the slopes in Deer Valley, Utah, as she was on a ski trip with her now-husband, Brad Falchuk, and their family. During her testimony, the Emma actress revealed she originally thought the collision was a sexual assault when she and Sanderson, 76, crashed into each other on the slopes.

“So that was a quick thought that went through my head when I tried to reconcile what was happening,” Paltrow recalled when asked about he sexual assault remark. “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.”

The trial began at the Park City District Court on Tuesday, March 21, and was scheduled to go on for eight days. All eyes have been on the hearings as they have been airing on Court TV. Paltrow made headlines on day 3 when she and her security team asked if they could bring the court bailiffs some treats as a thank you for their help. However, the request was objected to by Sanderson and ultimately denied by the judge.

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow Through the Years

The retired doctor 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.

Gwyneth Paltrow Takes the Stand in Her Skiing Accident Trial 2
Rick Bowmer/AP/Shutterstock

Gwyneth PaltrowPer court documents obtained by Us Weekly at the time of the original filing, Sanderson’s legal team claimed that the Oscar winner “skied out of control and hit the back of Terry Sanderson, another skier, who was downhill, knocking him down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries. Paltrow got up, turned and skied away, leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured.”

Paltrow, for her part, refuted the allegations and insisted that she and her ski instructor “remained on [the] scene” and “rendered aid” to Sanderson and left after they felt that he was not seriously injured. She further responded in a statement to Us at the time stating, “This lawsuit is completely without merit and we expect to be vindicated.”

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Most Controversial Quotes Over the Years

One month later, the Marvel star decided to countersue the former optometrist. Paltrow 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.” In her legal defense, she claimed that she was the one who was actually struck by Sanderson.

“[Paltrow] was enjoying skiing with her family on vacation in Utah, when Plaintiff — who was uphill from Ms. Paltrow — plowed into her back,” the February 2019 paperwork read. ​“She sustained a full ‘body blow.’ Ms. Paltrow was angry with Plaintiff, and said so. Plaintiff apologized. She was shaken and upset, and quit skiing for the day even though it was still morning.”

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