Man testifies he's ‘living another life’ in aftermath of Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash
Terry Sanderson described the moment he says he was hit by Gwyneth Paltrow on a ski slope. Geraint Vincent has the latest.
A man who collided with Gwyneth Paltrow on a ski slope has told how he heard a "blood curdling-scream" and felt a "serious smack" in the back before everything went "black" following the crash.
Terry Sanderson told a court he is now "living another life" following the collision, which happened at the Deer Valley resort in Utah in 2016.
The 76-year-old optometrist is suing the Hollywood actress, alleging that Paltrow fell on top of him, leaving him with several broken ribs and a severe concussion.
But the Oscar award-winning actress has denied the allegations, claiming Mr Sanderson collided with her. She is counter-suing him.
Mr Sanderson said the crash had caused the breakdown of his mental health and relationships.
Giving evidence on Monday at a court in Park City, Utah, Mr Sanderson took a moment to collect himself before describing the incident, saying remembering what happened “takes my breath away”.
He told the court: “Everything was great and then I heard nothing I’ve heard before at a ski resort – it was a blood-curdling scream.
“It was like someone was out of control and was going to hit a tree and die. Someone is out of control and they’re really seriously out of control.”
He added: “I got hit in my back so hard… it felt like a serious, serious smack. I’ve never been hit that hard and I’m flying.
“All I saw was a whole lot of snow and I didn’t see the sky, but I was flying in that sense, I had no control.
“The ground was coming up, no-one was in front of me… it was quite a ways to the ground. I said ‘you’ve gotta protect your face’ – that was the last thing I remember.
“Everything was black.”
A key point of contention during the trial has been an email Mr Sanderson sent to his family with the subject line, “I’m famous ... At what cost?”, with lawyers suggesting he was "obsessed" with the case.
When asked if he thought it was “cool” that he had collided with a celebrity, after learning the other person involved was Paltrow, Mr Sanderson said “absolutely not”.
“I’m not into celebrity worship, so I didn’t care at that point,” he said.
Describing the physical and mental effects of the crash, he said: “I can’t ski any more, I was told if I did and had another crash I could wind up full-time in a nursing home.”
He said he had attempted to go skiing again on his own but it had felt like “skiing through landmines”.
He said: “I’d have to stop every 30 yards to make sure no-one was behind me. I gradually gave it up."
“I’m living another life now," he added.
Mr Sanderson later became emotional as he described the end of his relationship with former partner Karlene Davidson in the aftermath of the crash.
He said he told Ms Davidson: “I said I’m not sure I’m going to get to back to normal again and I don’t want you to feel that I’m a crippled vet and you’re going to stick it out with me, because I know you would.
“But don’t do it – you need your life. You run right now.”
He added: “It was a sad time for both of us, I know, and she’s in a great relationship now… and that was the purpose, and I think better than what I would have brought her, honestly.
“It’s hard to admit that.”
The court has previously heard testimony from Paltrow, who reiterated multiple times that she had been the “victim” of the crash.
She said she felt “very sorry” for Mr Sanderson’s declining health following the incident but said she was not “at fault”.
Mr Sanderson is seeking damages of a minimum of 300,000 dollars (£244,000), while Paltrow’s counter-claim is for one dollar.
The trial continues.
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