I could think of no less than a thousand ways to express my elation that Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision trial has reached its end. Goop Riddance? Praise Goop? Thank Goopness? You get it. I’m stoked that the two-week he-said-she-said that spawned a Deer Valley-sized mountain of memes and innumerable think pieces, on how the actress and Goop CEO managed to make a Salt Lake City courtroom aisle her catwalk, is finally over.
If, unlike me, a livestream of the proceedings hasn’t been minimized in the corner of your computer screen for the last 10 days, the $300,000 case against Gwyneth Paltrow was levied by one Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist who claimed Paltrow plowed into him while skiing with her children in 2016, leaving him with a laundry list of afflictions subsequently limiting his quality of life—namely, his ability to enjoy wine tastings, among other things. Paltrow, who countersued for a symbolic $1, asserted otherwise, testifying that it was Sanderson who was responsible for the collision and her loss of “half a day of skiing.”
Inevitably, the back-and-forth—justifiably dubbed “the whitest trial of all time”—devolved into chaos specific to caucasians with more cash than they likely know what to do with. One witness taught a physics lesson, Sanderson’s attorney (who followers of Evan Ross Katz voted should be portrayed by Cheri Oteri) fawned over Paltrow’s height and supposed tipping habits, and Paltrow offered to bring “treats” for the bailiffs. Of course, I’d be remiss not to mention how Paltrow’s daughter deliciously revealed what her “very clearly visibly upset” mother did with their lost day of skiing via written deposition read in court. In short: got a massage.
Annoying fodder about the trial practically begat more annoying fodder. Most media often called it a “showdown” and described it as “contentious.” In the end, though, what was billed as a bloated battle royale culminated in a victory for Paltrow, some rather unsavory revelations about Sanderson, and the following exchange between the two of them: “I wish you well,” the star told Sanderson as she departed the courtroom. “Thank you dear,” he replied. Pretty damn cordial for two people who just spent a considerable amount of time and money to carry on a “my luxury ski vacation sucked harder than your luxury ski vacation seven years ago” contest, no?
Paltrow will most certainly be fine. In a matter of weeks, Goop will likely release a candle called: This smells like Gwynocence, or whatever. Sanderson—and his incredible collection of ties—will probably endure too. After all, when asked by reporters what’s next outside the courtroom, he replied: “Maybe Disneyland!”
I, however, will never be the same given this godforsaken trial has forced me to realize I don’t enjoy watching all rich people in the throes of litigation, especially when the parties ultimately face very little—if any—consequences at all.