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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Caroline Darney

Why Gwyneth Paltrow was awarded just $1 in her ski crash trial

The bizarre trial involving actress Gwyneth Paltrow that has saturated the news cycle in recent weeks has come to an end. In case you somehow missed it, here’s a quick rundown on what’s been going on. Former optometrist Terry Sanderson sued the 50-year-old Goop founder and Oscar winner over a skiing accident that occurred in 2016 in Park City, Utah. Sanderson claimed Paltrow bowled him over on the slopes, sending him flying, which he said led to a concussion and losing the ability to enjoy things like wine-tasting.

Paltrow — who countersued for just $1 in addition to legal fees — claimed it was Sanderson that ran into her, causing her to lose “half a day of skiing.”

Ultimately, Paltrow was cleared of all fault in the incident, but why was she awarded only $1 in damages?

Paltrow said in court it was “symbolic” — meaning money was not the reason for the countersuit, but clearing her name. It was noted during the trial that $1 is also the amount that Taylor Swift asked for and received in a 2017 sexual assault trial against David Mueller, after the former radio personality groped her at a promotional photo shoot. Sanderson’s attorney Kristin VanOrman grilled Paltrow on the stand about whether her $1 ask was inspired by Swift and pressed her on whether they had a close friendship.

“I would not say we are good friends,” said the Iron Man and Shakespeare in Love star. “We are friendly. I’ve taken my kids to one of her concerts before, but we don’t talk very often.”

On her Instagram story, Paltrow shared her thoughts after the ruling, posting: “I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity. I am pleased with the outcome and I appreciate all of the hard work of Judge Holmberg and the jury, and thank them for their thoughtfulness in handling this case.”

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