AceShowbiz - Gwyneth Paltrow faces accusation that she has a "conscious disregard for people" that led her to hit a retired optometrist on ski slopes on the first day of her trial over the 2016 accident. The "Sliding Doors" actress, 50, was accused by Dr. Terry Sanderson, 76, of leaving him with permanent brain damage after she allegedly struck him and fled at Deer Valley Resort in Utah, and he is suing her for $300,000.
"Distracted skiers cause crashes. Defendant Gwyneth Paltrow knew that looking up the mountain and to the side, while skiing down the mountain, was dangerous. And she knew that skiing that way … was reckless," Dr. Sanderson's lawyer Lawrence D Buhler said in his opening statement on the first day of courtroom proceedings on Tuesday, March 21 over the incident.
Gwyneth has countersued and insisted Dr. Sanderson was the one who ran into her and that she stayed at the scene, and is asking the court to force the former army optometrist to pay her legal fees and a token $1 in damages.
The Oscar-winning actress - whose kids Apple and Moses were 11 and 9 respectively at the time - was rumored to have been distracted on the slopes by one of her children yelling, "Mommy, Mommy watch me ski," before the crash. The lawyer told jurors Gwyneth was skiing down a green hill with her two children, her future husband, Brad Falchuk, and four instructors when she slammed into his client from behind.
He added she spent "thousands of dollars a day" on multiple instructors for her young children, which allowed the family to skip lines, saying, "Ms Paltrow has been skiing since she was three years old, she considers herself an intermediate skier. She has skied about a half a dozen times at Deer Valley ski resort."
The lawyer added the actress fell on top of Dr. Sanderson, causing the former doctor to break four ribs and sustain a concussion, and she allegedly "bolted" from the scene afterwards. Gwyneth briefly shook her head when her attorney, Steve Owens, challenged the lawyer's account of how she allegedly "bolted" from the crash site.
Owens said Gwyneth, her husband Brad, 52 and the two children, Apple, now 18 and Moses, 16, will all testify in the trial in Park City, Utah. He added the actress had been left "freaked out" by the crash and branded Dr. Sanderson's claim she crashed into him and left him with lifelong injuries as "BS."
Gwyneth has accused the ex-doctor of attempting to "exploit her celebrity and wealth" and her countersuit states he apologised to her on the day of the incident that left her "shaken and upset."