Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Trial Juror Addresses Whether Her Fame Affected Verdict Decision

After Gwyneth Paltrow was found not at fault for a 2016 ski collision involving herself and retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, a juror in the trial broke down how the unanimous verdict was reached.

By Gabrielle Chung Mar 31, 2023 11:02 PMTags
Watch: Gwyneth Paltrow SPEAKS OUT After Victory in Court Case

A juror who sat in Gwyneth Paltrow's ski crash trial is breaking her silence.

On March 30, the Goop mogul was found not at fault for a collision on a ski slope at a Utah resort in 2016. After the jury ruled that Terry Sanderson—who alleged in his lawsuit against Paltrow that she had skied into him—was "100 percent" at fault in the accident, the actress was awarded $1 in damages as she requested in her countersuit against the retired optometrist.

Now, Samantha Imrie—known as juror No. 11 in the trial—is breaking down how the jury ultimately sided with Paltrow.

Recalling how the entire legal proceeding was "little shocking to me," Imrie told ABC News in an interview published March 31, "We did have a unanimous decision."

Though Imrie did change her opinion multiple times throughout the trial, the 31-year-old said she found Paltrow's testimony to be believable, even after taking her acting career into account.

Gwyneth Paltrow Through the Years

"I think, you know, there was in the back of my mind: 'Yes, this woman's an actress,'" she explained. "I took that into account, but I didn't feel that she had a reason to lie under oath. She's always in the spotlight, so she always has to be honest." 

For Imrie, she approached the case with the thinking that "you have to look at everyone the same"—just like what she does outside of the trial in her job as a nurse. "I think it's important that the public doesn't just think that this was a win because Gwyneth's a celebrity," she noted. "This is based on the evidence. This is based on the law."

Rick Bowmer-Pool/Getty Images

Imrie said that photos of Sanderson—who said in his lawsuit that he sustained a brain injury, four broken ribs and psychological problems as a result of the crash—traveling around the world following the accident did not help his case: "I wouldn't have thought he would have been capable of those things based on the picture that had been painted."

She added of Sanderson, "He was telling his truth, and I think unfortunately some of that has been distorted due to some other factors. But I do think that he did not intend to tell a truth that wasn't his truth.

Ultimately, Imrie said another factor that swayed her decision was testimony from the Oscar winner's expert witness Dr. Irving Scher, a biomechanical engineer who testified that Paltrow's claim of Sanderson skiing into her was "consistent with the laws of physics."

The verdict ends a yearslong legal battle between Paltrow and Sanderson, who first sued the Oscar winner in 2019.

Rick Bowmer-Pool/Getty Images

In a statement to E! News following the trial, Paltrow said she was "pleased with the outcome."

An attorney for Sanderson has not responded to E! News' request for comment, though the 76-year-old told reporters outside of the courthouse on March 30 that he was "very disappointed" in the verdict.

Sanderson also confirmed that Paltrow had whispered to him, "I wish you well," as she made her way out of the courtroom. "Very kind of her," he remarked in footage from Extra. "I said, 'Thank you, dear.'"

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