Forget Donald Trump, Gwyneth Paltrow's case is the real trial of the century

Every few years a court case comes along that doesn’t simply garner attention, but more etches itself into history.
Gwyneth Paltrow testifies during her trial over a ski crash.Gwyneth Paltrow testifies during her trial over a ski crash.
Gwyneth Paltrow testifies during her trial over a ski crash.

As the Donald Trump indictment charges broke, I was so aware of how special what I was watching was, its significance as a cultural touchstone.

It was not the former President’s case though, no, I was spending my time with something far more important than a bigoted sexist half a country adores, who is probably still not facing the consequences of being a bigoted sexist.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I, like everyone online, was basking in a different legal case, as Gwyneth Paltrow won in a civil court against a man who had claimed she crashed into him and caused him significant injury while skiing dangerously.

Terry Sanderson had sued the actress for $300,000, claiming she skied into him, causing him to suffer with several broken ribs and a concussion at a ski resort in Utah in 2016.

The Shakespeare in Love Star counter-sued for a single dollar and her legal fees, saying actually he crashed into her. A single dollar! This was not a trial about damages so much as a glorious display of obscene wealth and pettiness, with drama served far more than justice.

Mr Sanderson, a retired optometrist claimed his injuries were so severe he could never ski again, shortly before photos emerged showing him doing just that. He also claimed he could no longer enjoy wine tastings, which would be terrible if the whole concept wasn’t a con and a bottle costing £7 or more is good, and anything above a tenner is luxury.

Meanwhile Ms Paltrow revealed her own horrific experiences from the incident – she missed a half-day of skiing, yes, a whole half-day. This was a trial where someone was too injured to holiday except they weren’t, and a millionaire couldn’t do what they wanted for less than the time it takes you to watch two of her films.

Honestly, this is my heroin, in that consuming it wasn’t good for me and it’s all I can think about, though admittedly it’s more of a ski down than shoot up situation. I just love rich people fighting, it’s like football but you can root for both teams to lose or at least be humiliated.

And how rich they are! Ms Paltrow constantly turned up in outfits that managed to look boring but cost a fortune, such as a rollneck which cost (but was obviously not worth) £1200, as well as bringing in a stationery notepad which cost around £250. This is how these people live, and they aren’t even hiding it.

I supposed it’s to be expected from the Goop founder, who sells a candle called “this Smells Like My Vagina” for £60, but it doesn’t make it less entertaining.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This was a case where Mr Sanderson's own lawyer spoke of how jealous she was of Paltrow's height, asked how good friends she was with Taylor Swift, and whether she got her Christmas presents.

I’m glad Donald Trump is being indicted, because he’s a horrible bully, but it’s a clear case where there is a result that’s good and bad.

In this case we were all winners, seeing Ms Paltrow in the role she was born to play, a rich super villain whispering “I wish you well” to the man who sued her.