Gwyneth Paltrow’s trial over a skiing accident has entered its second week, and has now seen a breakthrough in evidence.
This is all down to an online sleuth, who uncovered a group chat later submitted as evidence, in the ski collision trial that attorneys on both sides missed.
He said infiltrating the texts took “probably like two minutes,” even though it confounded courtroom attorneys.
The trial all dates back to 2016: The actress was involved in an incident in a ski resort in Utah with Terry Sanderson. Sanderson, 76, who is suing Paltrow for allegedly crashing into him and causing him life altering injuries.
However, Paltrow has countersued. She testified that he collided with her and left her feeling “hurt and violated”. It seems the two have very different accounts of what happened.
Sanderson is seeking damages of $300,000. with Paltrow seeking just $1 and compensation for her legal fees.
When asked to recall her turn of events, she has said she was skiing at a moderate pace, before hearing something coming towards her from behind.
In order to confirm this, Paltrow’s attorney has asked the daughter of Sanderson about missing GoPro camera footage that he had taken at the time of the collision. They called it “the most important piece of evidence.”
The defence alleged Mr Sanderson deleted the video because it would offer clear footage that debunk his claims that Ms Paltrow rammed into him and left him with “permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.”
However, despite the importance of the video, the lawyers could not access the footage.
The rumoured footage was mentioned by Mr Sanderson’s daughter after he emailed her a link to his ski discussion forum on the Meetup website, but she later testified she believed such video probably existed but had not seen it herself.
Ms Paltrow’s attorney Steven Owens said his team had attempted to open the link to view the video themselves, but said it was purposely faulty, so it would be inaccessible to use in trial.
Hearing this, Michael Fletcher, a CourtTV viewer, took it upon himself to obtain the missing footage.
”They kept repeating that it’s the most important piece of evidence, and they couldn’t figure it out. They had no idea how to open the link,” he said.
Fletcher then cracked the code which allowed him access into the link, found the hidden Meetup group messages and sent them to Paltrow’s defense team.
“It’s comical how easy it was,” he boasted.
The link did not grant him access to the all so important video, but it did reveal several key exchanges between Mr Sanderson and witness Craig Ramon, who claims to be the only eyewitness of the crash on Deer Valley.
In the messages, they make it clear they knew it was Paltrow who was involved in the crash, despite Sanderson stating that he or no other eye-witnesses were aware of who else was involved at the time.
”You could not make this up. Gwyneth took out Terry last week,” Ramon wrote in the chat.
“Last Saturday, her son broke his arm skiing at Park City. Gwyneth was staying at the Montage. She took her plane out of Millionaire Airport. What makes me mad is Gwyneth took out Terry and then took off.”
During an interview with Court TV, sleuth Fletcher seemed taken aback by how difficult the defence team were finding accessing the link.
“Like, I can’t believe they didn’t do this already. It’s almost a joke,” he added.
“All I did was create a login for the website. If it’s a website that requires a login, you can’t access anything on it without a login … then the link works. It’s simple.”
The trial is still ongoing.