Gwyneth Paltrow’s lawyers questioned the daughter of a man who was suing the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer a ski collision in 2016 about missing GoPro camera footage, which they called “the most important piece of evidence” in court today.
Steve Owens, Paltrow’s attorney, asked one of the man’s daughters, Polly Grasham, about emails exchanged with her father about the mysterious footage and the possibility that the lawsuit was filed against Paltrow because she was famous.
The Go Pro footage was not found or included as evidence at the trial.
“I’m famous…at what cost?” Terry Sanderson, the 76-year-old retired optometrist who sued Paltrow, wrote in the subject line of an email to his family aReported Mediaser the crash.
Sanderson is suing Paltrow for more than $300,000 in damages, alleging she recklessly drove into him seven years ago on a beginner’s run at Deer Valley Resort, breaking his ribs and leaving him with a concussion. Paltrow has claimed that Sanderson caused the crash and has countersued for $1 and attorneys’ fees.
The trial took on an increasingly personal touch on the third day of trial, when Sanderson’s daughter and a neuropsychologist testified about his deteriorating health.
Sanderson’s attorneys tried to convince the jury that the clash had altered their client’s resume, brain damaged him, and damaged his relationships with loved ones.
Paltrow’s attorneys questioned whether Grasham and neuropsychologist Dr. Alina Fong could say with certainty that Sanderson’s downturn was not due to aging or documented conditions prior to the accident. They questioned Grasham about her father’s anger issues, divorce and estranged relationship with another of his daughters, who is not testifying in court.
Paltrow has previously called the lawsuit an attempt to take advantage of their fame and notoriety. On Thursday, Steve Owens, her lead attorney, asked Grasham why her father sent messages related to her fame.
“It suits his personality a bit and makes a serious situation easy,” Grasham said of the email.
Owens explored Sanderson’s “obsession” with the case and whether he thought it was “cool” to bump into a celebrity like Paltrow, the Oscar-winning star of “Shakespeare in Love” and founder and CEO of wellness company Goop.
Sanderson is also expected to testify on Thursday about the lingering effects of the crash as the third day of trials takes an increasingly personal turn aReported Mediaser a day of experts. He was not present in the courtroom while his doctors and experts detailed his health problems.
Paltrow is expected to be subpoenaed on Friday or early next week if the eight-day trial resumes.
Proceedings to date have touched on subjects ranging from skier etiquette to the power – and burden – of celebrity. The amount of money at stake for both sides pales in comparison to the typical legal costs of a multi-year litigation and expert-heavy process. Sanderson’s attorney told the jury Thursday that this trial was about “value, not cost.”
For the first two days of the trial, attorneys argued over whether Sanderson or Paltrow were further down the slope during the collision – a disagreement rooted in a “Skiers Responsibility Code” that gives the right-of-way to anyone skiing downhill. Sanderson’s attorneys and medical experts described how his injuries were likely caused by someone hitting him from behind. They attributed noticeable changes in Sanderson’s mental acuity to injuries sustained that day.
Paltrow’s attorneys have attempted to portray Sanderson as a 76-year-old whose decline was more a result of normal aging than the effects of an accident. They have not yet called any witnesses of their own to testify, but in opening statements pre-announced to the jury, they plan to call Paltrow’s husband, Brad Falchuk, and their two children, Moses and Falchuk Appleto the booth.