How a Court TV viewer uncovered key evidence in Paltrow ski crash case

Viewer who uncovered group chat in Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case speaks to Court TV

Michael Fletcher, the tech investigator who uncovered the Meetup group chat messages involving the Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case, speaks to Court TV.

Posted at 9:37 PM, March 28, 2023 and last updated 9:42 AM, April 3, 2023


PARK CITY, Utah (Court TV) — A series of seemingly elusive chat messages introduced as evidence by Gwyneth Paltrow‘s attorneys were actually uncovered by a Court TV viewer.

Michael “Fletch” Fletcher told Court TV’s Julie Grant that it was “comical how easy” it was to find messages involving plaintiff Terry Sanderson and members of a local ski group with whom he skied the day he collided with Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow meetup evidence

This image from video shows a Meetup group chat that was submitted as evidence in the Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case. (Court TV)

Fletcher says it took him all of two minutes to gain entry to the contents of the chat. 

Sanderson, a retired Utah optometrist, is suing Paltrow for more than $300,000 in damages. He claims he sustained a brain injury when Paltrow knocked him over on the slopes. Paltrow is countersuing for $1 plus attorneys costs and fees. The Goop founder maintains it was Sanderson that crashed into her.

The chat Fletcher cracked into among members of the ski group focused on Sanderson’s injuries, the circumstances surrounding the crash, and Paltrow’s involvement. It did not contain the GoPro video that may or may not exist.

READ MORE: Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case Daily Trial Updates

Fletcher sent the contents of the chat to Paltrow’s attorneys, and after a lengthy discussion with both parties outside the presence of the jury, the judge informed jurors that the chat details had been located. Both sides agreed the messages were authentic, and they were entered into evidence.

Fletcher spoke about how baffled he was that Paltrow’s team of attorneys didn’t figure it out. 

“Well, he kept repeating that it’s the most important piece of evidence,” said Fletch, “and they couldn’t figure it out! They had no idea how to open the link.”

“All I did was create a login for the web site,” he explained. “If it’s a web site that requires a login, you can’t access anything on it without a login. All I did was use my Google account to the web site, and then the link works. It’s simple.”

Full disclosure: Fletch has a background in computer sales, and knows about computer parts, but he emphasized he has no legitimate tech training. He doesn’t write code. His sleuthing ultimately came down to common sense.

The hardest part, he said, was the time it took to type the full link on the TV screen into his browser.

Gwyneth Paltrow listens in court.

Gwyneth Paltrow listens in court during her trial, Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Park City, Utah. Paltrow is accused in a lawsuit of crashing into a skier during a 2016 family ski vacation, leaving him with brain damage and four broken ribs. (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News via AP, Pool)

The link itself, Fletch continued, was not faulty at all. It wasn’t an outdated link or a dreaded “404” page.

“There’s nothing wrong with the link,” he continued. “It’s just knowing when you put the link in for the first time, it doesn’t take you anywhere except to the web site’s main page and asks for a login — just realize that’s the problem. You’re not logged into the website, so you can’t access the information that you’re trying to find.”

“So it was as simple as creating a login,” Julie laughed.

Upon investigating the chat, Fletch did uncover some interesting information: Sanderson apparently skied with the group on Sundays and Wednesdays in October 2016 — this was a few months after the Paltrow collision. Now that the plaintiff has rested its case, we’ll see if defense brings it up.


For the latest trial updates on the Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Crash Case, visit: