Gwyneth Paltrow has been seen leaning over and speaking to her defeated lawsuit opponent Terry Sanderson after a Utah jury ruled that she was not responsible for a ski crash between them.
The Hollywood star, 50, was photographed in brief conversation with 76-year-old Mr Sanderson as she left the courtroom following the verdict on Thursday evening.
According to the Associated Press, Mr Sanderson told reporters outside the courtroom that she had touched his shoulder and told him: “I wish you well.” Mr Sanderson said he responded: “Thank you, dear.”
The verdict concludes a years-long legal saga in which Mr Sanderson, a retired optometrist, had accused Paltrow of crashing into her on a Utah ski slope in 2016 and sought $300,000 in damages.
He said the incident left him with a permanent traumatic brain injury that robbed him of “his enjoyment for life”, and much of the lawsuit dug into deeply personal details of his medical situation and psychology.
Paltrow’s lawyer Steven Owens told the court that his client had become a “punching bag” for Mr Sanderson and his family, saying: “He hurt her and then he asked $3m for the pleasure of it.”
After two hours and 20 minutes of deliberation, the jurors concluded that Mr Sanderson was 100 per cent at fault for the ski accident and awarded Paltrow a symbolic $1.
In the aftermath, Paltrow said: “I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity. I am pleased with the outcome and I appreciate all of the hard work of Judge Holmberg and the jury, and thank them for their thoughtfulness in handling this case.”
For his part, Mr Sanderson said he stands by his version of events. Asked what he plans to do now, he joked “maybe Disneyland!” His lawyer Kristin van Orman said he was a “very nice man” who is “suffering”.