The anticipation lasted days. Would it happen? When?
Some thought Tuesday. That slipped to Wednesday. Then the rumors began that it could drag on for weeks….
Legal pundits speculated endlessly about what the decision would mean for America.
It would be tough to prove—could such a case really bring down a celebrity businessperson who peddled snake oil to the American people?
The video of the event, if it ever existed, couldn’t be found.
A classic he said/she said.
There’s a lot we’ll never know for sure.
But on Thursday afternoon, legal news broke that rocked the nation.
Justice was served.
Gwyneth Paltrow was cleared of any wrongdoing in the ski crash heard ‘round the world.
Wait…what did you think I was talking about?
For those unaware of last week’s top legal story in the United States: Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist sued actress-turned-goop-mogul Gwyneth “Never Gwyn” Paltrow. Sanderson alleged that seven years ago, Paltrow skied into him and caused a collision that left him with permanent brain damage and an altered personality.
I promised myself I would remain ignorant of the details of this case.
Not because I’m too high minded for this sort of celebrity nonsense.
Just the opposite.
I avoided it because I knew I could kill entire days enthralled with every detail of what Gwyneth wore, if her smile was nervous or smug, who’s lying, whether or not the prosecuting attorney was star struck, and critically—wondering what this meant for Gwyneth’s future on Shark Tank.
I managed to avoid the first few days of coverage, no matter how enticing the headlines.
But last Saturday the click bait bastards got to me.
They know my Achilles’ heel, and they went right for it with the following headline:
Had Taylor Swift witnessed the accident? Was she going to testify? How would this impact her tour?
The trouble with clickbait is that even when you know you shouldn’t, you can’t help yourself.
I had to know.
And you know how Taylor Swift was “dragged” into this mess?
Paltrow was counter suing Sanderson for $1. The prosecuting attorney asked Paltrow if she’d gotten the idea to counter sue for $1 from Taylor Swift, who did something similar in a sexual harassment case in 2017.
Paltrow said she hadn’t know about that case when she decided to counter sue.
Feigning surprise, the attorney asked, “Aren’t you and Taylor Swift good friends?”
Paltrow responded that they were not friends, but friendly. Paltrow had taken her kids to a Swift concert and they spoke occasionally.
Then the lawyer moved on.
The slimiest, cheapest piece of click bait you can imagine.
But the damage was done.
I was in and I couldn’t get out. And the rabbit hole was deep, as the trial was live-streamed in its entirety on the internet.
I watched everything. Then I read everything.
And then I did the unthinkable and read the hot takes on Twitter.
This is how you kill an afternoon.
Okay, three full work days.
I’ve really got to stop working from home.
Though everyone has their own opinion, I’m firmly with the jury on this one. I don’t think the prosecuting attorney made their case.
I know goop, and her bone broth obsession, and her “conscious uncoupling” is ridiculous, but I’ve been defending Gwyneth against her haters ever since she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love.
At this point it’s a reflex.
But from Gwyneth saying she was harmed when she “lost half a day of skiing” to the prosecuting attorney doing his best Jimmy Stewart in Anatomy of a Murder impression by insisting he was a “simple country lawyer,” this trial was the most entertaining movie Gwyneth has made in years.
And that includes The Avengers.
After the verdict was read in her favor, I felt a flash of euphoria followed by an existential emptiness.
What was I to do now?
Back to the spreadsheet mine for me.
Fortunately, Sanderson is considering an appeal.
And who knows, maybe Taylor Swift will write a song about it.
Then it will truly be the gift that keeps on giving.
I’m still trying to figure this out. At the end of the trial, everyone wished each other well, having provided the world with some much needed light entertainment. The victim seemed to have a more dynamic lifestyle with a supposed brain injury than I have without one, so it’s hard to see what was at stake other than Gwynnie’s reputation. I’ve met her and she’s a genuine, compassionate person, and I find it hard to understand how this even came to trial based on the flimsy evidence provided.
For me at least, the absolute trivialness of the whole thing was key to it’s enjoyment – in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter who won, both of them would be fun.
So I could indulge in all the funny Twitter-memes and joke about it completely guilt-free.
That said, the guy was completely looking for a payday when he hit a celebrity. Gwyneth was dignified throughout and gracious to him afterward….what more can you ask of her?
Yup, I initially felt bad about finding this all so entertaining, but the more I found out about the stakes, the better it got. Paltrow came out of it better than she went in, and with more serious things on our minds, this was a fun news story…
Haha captured by a Swift! I did read the bits about the case in my daily paper and am firmly on the side of Gwyneth. Sanderson was in a chat room with his skiing mates proving they lied in the court, case proven mi’lud!
These click-baiters are diabolical!
Yes, the more I watched the trial, the more I was convinced GP would win. I would have fallen off my chair if the jury had bought his story.
Did you know about this —>. Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has announced “The Maltese Falcon” for the first time in 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR)?
It takes great courage to admit going down the rabbit hole of this particular trial’s coverage. I am going to confess that once the verdict was given, I then did a very deep dive into the entire course of events. My takeaway is she owns the fact she marches to the beat of a different drummer, but she also knows how to be classy and professional, not to mention “win” with grace.
Yes, I’m an open book to my readers!
We all have our guilty pleasures.
I agree with you that she came off looking great. He came off to me as figuring he could get a payday by portraying her as an out of touch celebrity. Which she may be, but that isn’t a crime:)