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Gwyneth Paltrow's Ski Accident Lawsuit is the Most Bonkers Celebrity Court Case We've Had in Months

Pool. Getty Images.

It's seemed like forever since the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard court case was providing daily fodder, with their cross allegations of emotional harm, infidelity, substance abuse and pooped beds. We need these things from time to time. To get our entertainers on the stand, under oath, without a scriptwriter putting words literally in their mouths, thus shining a bright, million-candle-power search light on the vapid empty-headedness of Hollywood types. 

And so it is that Gwyenth Paltrow getting taken to court by a 76 year old eye doctor accusing her of pulling a hit-and-run on the ski slopes is here to fill that Celebrity Trial-shaped hole in America's heart. And as you'd figure, since it involves one of the most peculiar and self-absorbed famous people our culture has produced in our lifetimes:

Giphy Images.

 … it comes as no surprised that this one has been completely off the rails from the very beginning. I mean, how precious was this from last week? 

Is there a more tired, played out TV/movie trope than Wacky Courtroom Antics? A lawyer with an eccentric client offer some ridiculous motion and the wisecracking judge shoots it down with a funny one-liner and all decorum goes out the window as hilarity ensues? It's been used in everything from Night Court to Seinfeld, My Cousin Vinny to Better Call Saul and everywhere in between. 

But for the Paltrow trial, the court was just getting warmed up. This exchange actually happened. This attorney actually passed the bar exam. This is her actually practicing law in a legal proceeding, not giving a Red Carpet interview:

"You probably had a better ski outfit." "I'm so jealous." Shoe talk. "Small but mighty." "I'm assuming you're a good tipper? Fantastic! I wouldn't expect anything less!" This is all in the public record now. If you read the transcript with the names redacted, you couldn't tell if this was a legal proceeding with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake or a Julia Roberts appearance on Oprah from 1994.


And there are six figures up for grabs here, because despite the lawyer's line of questioning, the allegations are no joke:

Source - Gwyneth Paltrow testified Friday that she thought she was being sexually assaulted while skiing in Utah during the contentious trial over a 2016 ski-slope crash that a retired optometrist says left him permanently brain-damaged. …

“I was hit by Mr. Sanderson, and he was at fault,” Paltrow told the court almost immediately upon taking the stand.  

The doctor, 76, suffered a concussion and broken ribs, and contends the long-term effects have disabled him. He is suing Paltrow for $300,000 in damages.

Paltrow has rejected his narrative — and counters it was Sanderson who caused the accident. 

Paltrow, who punctuated her testimony with sips of Perrier, seemed to have the court gallery rapt, and at least one juror was smiling during her testimony, despite appearing smug at times.

The actress said she thought someone might be trying to sexually assault her in the immediate aftermath of the crash. …

“I was skiing and two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart, and then there was a body pressing against me,” she explained. “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, like, doing something perverted? This is really, really strange.’…" 

Sanderson was “groaning and grunting in a very disturbing way,” she said. 

After all, it's never a joke when one elderly person is claiming to have suffered permanent physical damage and a woman is claiming she was sexually assaulted. Though not everyone agrees:


Finally, in her own defense, Gwyneth argued that, while this optometrist might be injured for life and never again be able to appreciate the citrus notes, oaky finish and round mouthfeel of a nice Riesling ever again, she lost something in this she too will never get back:

To be clear, I'm not taking either side on this. I will let the system decide. May justice prevail. The only side I'm on is mine. And that of America. We need a good diversion right now. May this case drag on exactly like this for weeks. If not months. At least until the Alec Baldwin shooting trial begins. So take your sweet time, everyone. And in the name of all that is holy, let Paltrow bring treats to the court staff.