A veteran ski instructor at the centre of a lawsuit against Gwyneth Paltow has denied falsifying his incident report to protect the Hollywood megastar.
Paltrow, 50, is being sued for by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, who blames her for a skiing collision between the pair at the Deer Valley resort in Utah in 2016 that he says left him severely injured.
Each party claims that the other was responsible for the crash, with different witnesses backing up both versions of events.
On Monday, ski instructor Eric Christiansen, who was training Paltrow’s children on the day of the incident, rebuffed the accusation that had changed his account of events to cover for Paltrow because she had “tipped him well”.
Asked by a lawyer for Paltrow whether he falsified the report, Mr Christiansen said: “That is ridiculous”. He added that he would have written “much more detail” if he had known there would be a lawsuit over the incident.
In his report on the day of the crash, Mr Christiansen wrote: “First thing male ski stated was that she appeared in front of her, thus admitting that he was the uphill skier. She never saw him because he came in from behind.”
Though Mr Christiansen did not see the moment of impact, he said that he witnessed its lead-up and the immediate aftermath, and did not see any sign that Mr Sanderson had been knocked unconscious.
He claimed that he heard Mr Sanderson apologise twice to Paltrow, and that when he asked if Mr Sanderson was all right, the skier said that Paltrow had “just appeared in front of [him]”.
He also denied accusations by Mr Sanderson that he had shouted at the skier and blamed him for the crash while he was still disoriented after the incident.
“Deer Valley takes their guests very seriously, and if an instructor has a confrontation with a customer, they don’t last,” said Mr Christiansen. “I am polite to everyone, and I was polite to Mr Sanderson.”
At one point, Mr Christiansen seemed to become annoyed with Mr Buhler’s repeated questioning about whether he ever raised his voice on the course, saying: “This is getting a little silly, don’t you think?”
The trial continues.