Gwyneth Paltrow has been branded a “prima donna” for complaining about cameras pointing at her during her trial for a ski collision.
Before the second day of proceedings began in Park City, Utah, on Wednesday, attorneys for the Goop founder argued that her privacy was being disturbed by a camera inside the courtroom pointing directly at her face and paparazzi waiting for her in the parking lot.
The Oscar-winning actor is being sued by retired optometrist Dr Terry Sanderson, 76, who claims Ms Paltrow plowed into him on the slopes of Flagstaff Mountain at the Deer Valley Resort on 26 February 2016. Mr Scanderson, who is demanding $300,000 in damages, says he was left with severe brain injuries that have affected his quality of life.
“We have a new camera directed at my client right there,” attorney Steve Owens said. “This has been a [continuing] problem, for instance, reporters being in front of my client’s car going out yesterday, cameras in her face.”
He continued: “I’m mad, I don’t want reporters to make changes without informing [the judge].”
Judge Kent Holmberg deemed the complaint valid and said the placement of the camera had indeed gone against the court’s decorum orders, which only allow a photojournalist with the Associated Press and a videographer with CourtTV to document the proceedings.
Reacting to Ms Paltrow’s requests, Twitter users said she needs to “put on [her] big girl pants,” claiming that her demands are “petty” and “entitled” as other defendants don’t have a say in the way media broadcast their trials.
“#GwynethPaltrow‘s stone face is hard to figure out. The camera issue is kind of petty to me. It is what it is and may not play well with the jury. Hell she makes a living on camera. #getoveryourself” user @DEWsMARSHmallow tweeted.
“Wow. #GwynethPaltrow is a prima Donna in this trial. The objection to her being on camera is silly,” @deniseparsons agreed.
Another user mocked Ms Paltrow’s sudden aversion to cameras, pointing out her decades-long acting career in Hollywood.
“[A]ward-winning actress #GwynethPaltrow has an issue being on camera,” they tweeted.
Meanwhile, others watching the trial sympathised with the Goop mogul, arguing that despite her public career, she is still entitled to privacy.
“Sure, #GwynethPaltrow may come@off as a little bougie when it comes to the camera being in her face, but to be fair, I’ve rarely seen Terry Sanderson the complete on camera…” @mysense89 tweeted. “& he is even allowed to come & go depending on testimony. privilege? Where?”
Mr Sanderson’s attorneys said on Tuesday that he will leave the courtroom during distressing testimony on how his life was altered after the accident.
The AP photographer at the centre of the defence’s complaint on Wednesday was ultimately ordered to redirect the camera to whoever is using the lectern, while Judge Holmberg said a court official will help Ms Paltrow’s legal team work out a way for her to leave the courthouse without disruptions.
“The court has permitted media coverage of the proceeding, not of the individuals who are participating in the proceedings so if you’re speaking into the microphone, you can expect an image to be captured,” Judge Holmberg said.
The photographer was warned he would be removed from the courtroom if another violation of the court decorum order took place.
“This is now interfering with the proceeding,” Judge Holmberg said. “If it happens again, the offending photographer will be asked to leave.”
A similar issue took place on the first day of the trial on Tuesday when the photographer took pictures of Ms Paltrow in the foyer during recess, which her team flagged to the judge when the court reconvened. The photographer agreed to delete the pictures and was also sent a warning.
Despite her attorney’s complaints on Wednesday, Ms Paltrow was seen smiling and in good spirits as she left the courthouse on Tuesday.
Mr Sanderson has said through his attorneys that after the accident he went to urgent care and the emergency room. He suffered four broken ribs and a brain injury that he says has altered his life significantly.
He claims Paltrow slammed into him in a “full body hit” leaving him with “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement”.
Ms Paltrow has filed a counterclaim, seeking attorney fees and a symbolic single dollar in damages.
“All skiers know that when they’re skiing down the mountain, it’s their responsibility to yield the right of way to skiers below them,” Mr Sanderson’s attorney Lawrence Buhler told jurors.
Mr Buhler described Ms Paltrow as a wealthy, experienced skier who adopted a negligent attitude about the collision.
On the other hand, Ms Paltrow has alleged Mr Sanderson overstated his injuries and is trying to exploit her celebrity status and wealth.