Terry Sanderson‘s legal team tried to use previous media appearances in which actress Gwyneth Paltrow discussed being clumsy to discredit her testimony, but the judge ultimately would not allow it.
“Would you agree that you are accident-prone?” attorney Kristin VanOrman asked Paltrow, at which point the judge and the two legal teams paused for a bench meeting.
It had apparently renewed a debate between the two sides, which the judge had already considered, on whether Sanderson’s lawyers could raise the interviews in an effort to discredit Paltrow’s testimony.
“Let’s say she’s clumsy, there’s been no testimony that clumsiness in any way contributed to the accident,” the judge told VanOrman, as they discussed the issue again in court.
VanOrman said it was relevant because Paltrow has been asked multiple times under oath whether she is accident-prone and said she wasn’t. But, the attorney claimed, Paltrow “has admitted a number of times that she is (accident-prone).”
Therefore “this is all impeachment evidence,” VanOrman said, referring to the legal process of undermining a witness’ credibility.
The interviews in question: VanOrman said her team had submitted evidence of Paltrow’s self-professed clumsiness, including several articles and a video.
In that clip, the attorney said, “Ms. Paltrow went on (late night show) ‘Jimmy Kimmel,’ saying: ‘Yes, I am accident-prone, I am always running into things.'”
“We believe that’s exactly what she did, is she ran into things, like she always does,” VanOrman said.
Paltrow’s team responded, expressing frustration and saying the opposing legal team had already made this case to the judge and had their request to use the articles and video rejected.
Ultimately, the judge said Sanderson’s team had not sufficiently proven Paltrow’s clumsiness played a role in the crash, and said the argument would not be considered.