A lawyer for Gwyneth Paltrow has apologized to a witness for the way he conducted his cross-examination earlier on Thursday.
“I must apologize,” Paltrow’s lead defense attorney, Stephen Owens, told plaintiff witness Polly Sanderson Grasham. “I was an ass.”
Grasham was called as a witness by her father, Terry Sanderson, in the ongoing negligence lawsuit. The result of his testimony was that his father changed significantly following the February 2016 skiing accident with “The Talented Mr. Ripley” actress.
Sanderson claims that Paltrow’s negligence on the beginner slopes at Deer Valley Resort caused him such severe brain damage that his personality and demeanor changed after the accident. He plans to ask jurors for some $3 million in damages.
Paltrow blames Sanderson and says the skirmish upset her and left her with only minor injuries. She’s asking for $1 and attorney’s fees.
The apology came after a series of tense questions related to Sanderson’s relationship with his daughters – in particular his daughter Jenny Sanderson, who sat for a long deposition with the defense and was due to attend the trial as a defense witness but who decided not to testify before the proceedings. began.
Owens previewed his line of questions during opening statements earlier this week.
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“You’re going to hear girls,” Owens said. “He has three daughters. He’s away with it [third] daughter. She paints a not so great story about him before the skiing accident.
The defense attorney told jurors they would spend a lot of time hearing bad things that no one in the room wanted to hear, but insisted he had an “attorney” obligation to defend his client with “what is true”.
On Thursday, Paltrow’s attorney sought to contrast the two sisters’ words and relationship with their father.
“So, as for Jenny, was he bossy and verbally abusive towards her? Before the collision with the skis? Owens asked.
“Disagree,” Grasham replied.
“So she made this up?” insisted the lawyer. “She testified under oath. She made that up?
Grasham became visibly and audibly offended by the question.
“It’s his experience,” she says. “SO-“
“I want the truth,” Owens said, interrupting the witness.
She challenged the framing: “You ask my opinion, and I think you have his experience.”
But Owens didn’t let go.
“Is she lying?” Paltrow’s attorney asked again.
Grasham furrowed his brunette, again annoyed. She asked, “Are you saying there is only one truth?”
“On some facts, there are,” said the lawyer.
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Toward the end of the relatively minor setback, Sanderson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, objected to the line of questioning.
“You can ask what the facts are,” Sykes said. “And the jury can make up their own minds. But he shouldn’t wrap up for someone who isn’t there, whether she’s telling the truth or not. It’s inappropriate.
Third District Court Judge Kent Holmberg upheld the objection.
Owens then tried another way.
“So if Jenny says your father was overbearing, do you agree or disagree?” Before the skiing accident? He asked.
“Disagree,” replied the witness.
“And if she testifies like this – and we’re going to read part of her transcript in the file – if she testifies like this, isn’t that true?” Owens asked. “He wasn’t dominating?” Is that what you say?
Grasham said: “I’m saying he wasn’t overbearing.”
The lawyer continued thus for some time; the witness maintained that his sister’s testimony differed from his.
“So they can both be true?” the lawyer questioned the witness.
The plaintiff filed another objection, but the judge dismissed that complaint.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lawyer complains about ‘new camera’ pointed at Hollywood actress during ski accident negligence trial
Grasham tried to focus on the gap without speaking ill of his sister. She said, “So depending on people’s mental abilities and disabilities, sometimes we experience events differently.”
The interrogation ended after Owens asked about Sanderson’s relationship with his first wife – Grasham’s mother. Again, counsel sought to contrast the words and experiences of the women in the complainant’s life.
After the break came the apologies.
“I was wrong to triangulate you, your father and your sister,” Owens said. “And your mother. And I beg your pardon.
The full apology can be viewed below:
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