Viewers tuning into proceedings on CourtTV have seen Paltrow complain about losing a half day of skiing after the crash. They’ve compared the spectacle to The White Lotus – an HBO series that satirises the petty grievances of rich, white vacationers.
Photographs of Paltrow entering and exiting the courtroom – often shielding her face, perp-walk style with a blue GP-initialled notebook – have gone viral on social media.
UTAH’S POSHEST SKI TOWN
The proceedings have drawn the world’s attention to Park City, Utah, the silver boomtown-turned posh ski resort where Paltrow and Sanderson crashed and the trial has been held.
The jury and local residents who’ve braved blizzards to get to the courthouse each day have nodded along as attorneys have referenced local landmarks like The Montage at Deer Valley, where Paltrow got a massage after the crash.
The all-white jury responsible for deciding on the lawsuit is drawn from registered voters in Summit County, where the average home sold for US$1.3 million last month and residents tend to be less religious than the rest of Utah, where the majority of the population belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Unlike the high-powered, Hollywood attorneys that become household names at celebrity trials, both sides are represented by local lawyers. Paltrow’s team specialises in medical malpractice suits, while Sanderson’s lead counsel, Bob Sykes, is known in Salt Lake City for his work suing police departments. Sykes has attempted to play up his folksiness, referring to himself as “just a country lawyer” multiple times to the jury.
THE MYSTERIOUS MISSING GOPRO
The spectre of missing GoPro footage has become the trial’s equivalent of the man seen on a grassy knoll during the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy.
Paltrow’s attorneys have intrigued the jury with questions about the incident potentially being captured on a helmet-cam video, though no footage has been included as evidence in the trial.
Sanderson’s daughter testified this week that an email she sent the day of an accident referring to the GoPro didn’t imply footage existed. She said that she and her father speculated that on a crowded beginner run, someone wearing a camera must’ve turned to look at the crash after hearing Paltrow scream.
Internet sleuths following the trial later found and sent attorneys the link included in the email. Rather than revealing GoPro footage though, it contained a chatroom discussion between members of Sanderson’s ski group, including the man claiming to be the sole eyewitness who testified Paltrow crashed into Sanderson.