Sanderson, 76, took the stand Monday in Utah and testified against Paltrow, who he claims seriously injured him during a collision on the beginner slopes at Deer Valley Resort in Park City on Feb. 26, 2016. He previously alleged the celebrity wellness CEO and actress left him on the mountain without help.
While questioned by his attorney Kristin Vanorman on Monday, he said initially he was having an “easy” skiing day and stayed toward the edges. He claimed there were several large “slow down” signs as he went down the slopes, which made him exercise more caution.
Sanderson got emotional as he recalled the moments prior to Paltrow allegedly crashing into him. “This is hard because I don’t like going through this scene,” he said, choking up. “I just remember everything was great and then I heard something I’ve never heard at a ski resort, and that was a blood-curdling scream … and then boom. It was like somebody was out of control and going to hit a tree and was going to die. That’s what I heard until I was hit.
“I got hit in my back so hard and it was right at my shoulder blades, and it felt like … the fists and the poles were right there at the bottom of my shoulder blades. (It was a) serious, serious smack. I’ve never been hit that hard and I’m flying,” he said. “Last thing I remember, everything was black.”
Terry Sanderson alleges a ‘very angry man’ tried to blame the crash on him
Sanderson alleged that he couldn’t move and had fallen unconscious, but his subconscious made him aware of a “very angry man” yelling at him. “He was really insistent that I was doing something wrong and hit somebody,” Sanderson recalled. In desperation, he says he mumbled “I’m sorry” to “placate” the man’s anger.
The retired optometrist alleged he had pain his ribs, his ears were buzzing and he was seeing “sparks” in his eyes after the collision. Sanderson had “at least three broken ribs and I sustained a concussion” as a result of the incident, he later testified.
Aligning with his initial complaint, Sanderson said a man in green, whom he thought worked for Deer Valley, dragged him up onto his skis before leaving him behind.
Sanderson said several people zipped past him, but he didn’t receive assistance until his friend and witness Craig Ramone went down the mountain and alerted resort staff.
Sanderson’s attorney questions why he told his daughters, ‘I’m famous’
Paltrow’s attorneys have attempted to discredit Sanderson’s lawsuit as a ploy to exploit her fame and wealth.
During Vanorman’s examination, Sanderson said he did not know he was hit by Paltrow until others told him. His attorney questioned why he messaged his daughters Jenny, Polly and Shae, “I’m famous,” along with a link to an article about his appreciation for a woman named Whitney who helped him down the mountain.
“All I was trying to desperately communicate with my kids before they heard from somebody else (was that) I got crushed, so I didn’t pick my words well,” Sanderson said. “I really was just trying to add a little levity to a serious situation and it backfired.”
Gwyneth Paltrow says Sanderson ‘categorically’ crashed into her
Paltrow filed her own lawsuit against Sanderson, seeking “symbolic damages in the amount of $1, plus her costs and attorney’s fees to defend this meritless claim.”
While on the stand Friday, Paltrow said she “was not engaging in any risky behavior” the day she alleges Sanderson crashed into her from behind on a beginner ski slope.
Throughout questioning, the actress maintained Sanderson collided into her, saying, “Mr. Sanderson categorically hit me on that ski slope, and that is the truth.”
Contributing: Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press
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