Exclusive: Jury foreperson in Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case speaks out

Exclusive: Jury foreperson speaks to Court TV

Juror #19, Don, the foreperson of the jury spoke to Court TV's Julia Jenaé. He said the experience humanized celebrities for him when Paltrow spoke about going skiing with her dad. He said he believed Paltrow's recollection of the crash. (3/31/23)

Posted at 8:44 AM, April 3, 2023 and last updated 10:44 AM, April 3, 2023

By Julia Jenaé

PARK CITY, Utah (Court TV) — Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski crash trial humanized the A-list celebrity, says the jury foreperson who spoke to Court TV after the verdict in an exclusive interview.

The jury of eight, four men and four women, deliberated less than three hours last week before returning a verdict in favor of Paltrow.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow leaves Park City District Courthouse

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow leaves Park City District Courthouse Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Park City, Utah. Gwyneth Paltrow has won her court battle over a 2016 ski collision at a posh Utah ski resort after a jury decided that the actor wasn’t at fault for the crash. The jury verdict comes Thursday in a packed court room in Park City, Utah.(Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

READ MORE: Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case Daily Updates

The foreperson, Juror #19 Don, who asked for his last name to be withheld, told Court TV Paltrow made a convincing witness on the stand.

“The whole experience kind of humanized celebrities a little bit more for me,” the jury foreperson said. “(Paltrow) told a story about going skiing with her dad. And that’s what the mountains are about to those of us who love skiing and snowboarding.”

Don did not find plaintiff Terry Sanderson’s story believable or his eyewitness, Craig Ramon, to be credible.

“After that it was just expert witnesses talking about (Sanderson’s) ailments. We all have grandparents, everybody degenerates a little bit when you get older and so those things are hard to hear and sad to hear.”

Sanderson sued the actress for $3.2 million in damages claiming her negligence caused his broken ribs and brain injury in 2016.

Sanderson’s attorneys argued the then-69-year-old plaintiff enjoyed an active lifestyle prior to the ski collision. Juror #11, a nurse, told Good Morning America she questioned the optometrist’s claims because he continued to travel extensively after the crash.

“I think I wrote down, ‘Wow, I need to make some more money so I can go travel this way.’ I wouldn’t have thought he was capable of those things based on the picture that had been painted.”

Don, an avid snowboarder, said everyone on the jury was familiar with skiing and that background knowledge fueled skepticism of Sanderson’s version of events.

WATCH: Terry Sanderson Describes Ski Crash with Gwyneth Paltrow

“(Sanderson’s) story was he had his arms straight out…but his elbow broke his ribs. How does that happen if your arms were straight out?” Don said. “That was the first thing that didn’t fully make sense.”

Paltrow testified Sanderson came behind her on the slopes and the two were “spooning” on the way down to the ground.

Terry Sanderson testifies

Terry Sanderson, the Utah man suing Gwyneth Paltrow, testifies, Wednesday, March 29, 2023, in Park City, Utah. Sanderson accuses Paltrow of crashing into him on a beginner run at Deer Valley Resort, leaving him with brain damage and four broken ribs. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

“I think that he got hurt the way she said it,” Don said. “They were spooning together…and his elbow would have been pinched up underneath there then to get those ribs.”

WATCH: Gwyneth Paltrow Denies Collision Was a Hit-and-Run

Another thing that did not make sense to Juror #19—the plaintiff’s explanation for the actress’ scream.

“When she had that initial reaction of the scream, if you’re running into somebody, you’re not screaming. You’re yelling ‘watch out’…you’re not having an ‘oh my gosh what’s happening behind me?’ scream.”

Ultimately, Don said he hoped the now 76-year-old plaintiff can find peace despite the loss in court.

“I hope everybody can come enjoy the (Utah) mountains with their families. I hope (Paltrow) comes back and I hope Mr. Sanderson gets his bearings back so he can ski again because I would be sad in life if I couldn’t spend time in the mountains.”

Sanderson’s legal woes could continue. Paltrow also sued him for reimbursement of her attorney fees, however a judge will decide whether or not to award her the money at a later time.