A juror who served in the Utah ski collision trial has spoken out for the first time since the case reached a verdict - revealing why she was convinced Gwyneth Paltrow was telling the truth while Dr Terry Sanderson was spewing a “distorted” story.
Samantha Imrie, juror number 11 in the trial, confessed that she tossed up the possibility of the Goop founder being a good liar, down to her profession as an actress. However, she ultimately found Paltrow’s testimony to be extremely dependable and honest, according to the New York Post.
“I think there was, in the back of my mind, ‘Yes, this woman’s an actress’, and I took that into account, but I didn’t feel she had a reason to lie under oath,” Imrie revealed to ABC News. “She’s always in the spotlight, so she always has to be honest.”
“It’s important that the public doesn’t just think that this was a win because Gwyneth’s a celebrity. I mean, this is based on the evidence. This is based on the law,” she said.
On the other hand, Terry Sanderson’s account of the ski crash in 2016, particularly the accusation that Paltrow was liable for the collision, has many inconsistencies.
“He was telling his truth, and I think unfortunately, some of that has been distorted due to some other factors, but I do think he did not intend to tell a truth that wasn’t his truth,” she said.
Sanderson sued the wellness guru for $US300,000 (NZ$479,000), claiming she was the cause of the collision that left him with “severe” physical injuries and “serious brain injuries”. However, Paltrow proved more powerful during the high-profile trial.
In court, photographic evidence was shown that depicted the former optometrist travelling around the world after the ski incident, which didn’t help his case against the Shakespeare in Love actress.
“I wouldn’t have thought he was capable of those things based on the picture that had been painted,” she said. “I think I wrote down, ‘Wow, I need to make some more money so I can go travel this way’.”
Imrie revealed that she changed her mind many times during the court proceedings, but came to her conclusion in favour of Paltrow based on the testimony of an expert witness who discussed in detail the logistics of the sometimes-dangerous snow sport.
“He’s a snow sports expert in many different ways. I think [due to] the fact that Dr. [Irving] Scher could speak to the [ski-binding] settings and he specifically studied snow science, he had a stronger opinion,” Imrie said.
Imrie and the jury, which consisted of eight people, took just over two hours to decide the unanimous verdict in the case, which she admitted to finding stunning at various points of the trial.
“The whole thing was a little shocking to me,” she said, adding that her background as a nurse helped her reach the decision.
“I work in medicine, and you have to look at everyone the same. So I think that that should apply in the courtroom as well,” she said.
Sanderson sued Paltrow in 2019, seeking $US3.1 million (NZ$4.95 million) in damages for the collision at the Deer Valley Ski Resort. However, a judge decided the optometrist was only eligible for $US300,000 (NZ$479,000) if he won the case against the celebrity.
Paltrow countersued Sanderson for just $US1 (NZ$1.60) on top of her legal fees.
Paltrow won the case and was awarded the dollar by the jury on Thursday. The accident was ruled to be 100 per cent Sanderson’s fault.