‘There’s no suggestion he was faking it!’ Psychologist for Gwyneth Paltrow’s alleged ski crash victim says her patient did ‘everything he could’ to get better after the accident left him with personality changes, pain and headaches
- Day 3 of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski accident trial kicked off with testimony from Terry Sanderson’s neuropsychologist Dr. Alina Fong
- ‘There was no suggestion he was malingering or in any way faking it – it was quite the opposite. He doesn’t want to be sick,’ Dr. Fong testified
- Thursday’s proceedings will hear from Sanderson’s daughters before Sanderson himself begins his account of the crash
The alleged victim of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski slope crash tried to overcome the brain injury he suffered as a result of the smash but was unable to, court has heard.
Official proceedings kicked off with testimony from Terry Sanderson’s neuropsychologist Dr. Alina Fong who said he had been an ‘ideal patient’ who showed no sign of ‘malingering’ or faking his injuries.
Dr. Fong said: ‘Terry showed up to every appointment on time, he gave his best effort. He had 32 hours of therapy – he was an ideal patient. I got to see him every day.
‘There was no suggestion he was malingering or in any way faking it – it was quite the opposite. He doesn’t want to be sick and he was willing to do everything he could. ‘
She also described how Sanderson had suffered a panoply of symptoms, among them pain and personality changes that affected his life.
Day 3 of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski accident trial kicked off with testimony from Terry Sanderson’s neuropsychologist Dr. Alina Fong
Thursday’s proceedings will hear from Sanderson’s daughters Shae Herath and Polly Grasham before Sanderson himself begins his account of the crash at 4pm
Dr. Fong said she had encouraged him to travel, albeit with companions, as a way to help him overcome his problems.
She said: ‘He was reporting a myriad of symptoms including cognitive issues – he wasn’t thinking as clearly as he was before.
‘He reported personality changes, pain, headaches that he didn’t have before. These were quite significantly affecting his life – his personal relationships, his family life.
‘His self-confidence. It was affecting him on so many levels. He loved life, traveling. By the time he came to me, that was all gone.’
During cross-examination, the hearing descended into a series of angry exchanges between Paltrow’s attorney James Egan and Dr Fong – with the neuropsychologist rubbishing the defense’s experts and accusing them of not taking post concussion symptoms seriously.
Watched by Paltrow, who had traded her much derided ‘Jeffrey Dahmer glasses’ for a tortoiseshell pair, Dr. Fong said Egan was trying to ‘convolute’ matters by raising possible alternative causes for Sanderson’s symptoms and pinned the blame for them on the ski crash.
She told court: ‘Anything is possible but not probable.
‘This was a significant injury where he lost consciousness and had four broken ribs, this was not a light tap.
‘Whether he did or didn’t lose consciousness shouldn’t be debated – that’s a red herring. You don’t have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.’
After angrily ordering Egan not to interrupt, she added: ‘Of all the experts that are opining, I am the best judge of what happened to him in this case. You criticize me but we can turn this around – your experts spent no time with him.
‘He is still struggling. That is what the focus should be. He still needs help.’
Paltrow was glamorous in a loose gray sweater and matching pants, teamed with her now-customary $1,200 Celine boots as she returned to court for a third day
Paltrow was glamorous in a loose gray sweater and matching pants, teamed with her now-customary $1,200 Celine boots as she returned to court for a third day.
The actress, 50, made a late appearance at Park City District Court in Utah.
Paltrow is due to testify on Friday but Thursday’s proceedings will hear from Sanderson’s daughters Shae Herath and Polly Grasham before Sanderson himself begins his account of the crash at 4pm.
Court began with another litany of complaints from her lawyer Stephen Owens over cameras in court with the attorney then becoming embroiled in an argument with Sanderson’s lawyer Robert Sykes over a request from Paltrow’s security staff.
The heavies, one of whom is a British man with a tattooed neck, had asked to bring treats to give to the court bailiffs to thank them for their help in dealing with photographers.
Yesterday, that help took the form of shielding Paltrow from the waiting snappers – making it impossible for them to take a photo of the actress leaving court.
Sykes complained that the request hadn’t been put to his team – with Judge Kent Holmberg then rejecting it as a result.
The legal saga has already seen a number of dramatic moments, with Sanderson’s lead attorney Lawrence Buhler calling the actress ‘callous’ and ‘reckless’ in his opening argument.
Owens hit back, describing Sanderson’s account as ‘total BS’ and insisting that the 76-year-old smashed into his client and not the other way round.
Court has also heard from Craig Ramon, 48, who witnessed the crash and pinned the blame for it on Paltrow, as well as radiologist Dr. Wendell Gibby who testified Sanderson sustained permanent brain injuries as a result of the ski slope pile up.
Neuropsychologist Sam Goldstein also testified Wednesday that Sanderson is ‘obsessed’ with what happened.
Sam Goldstein, a neuropsychologist, testified on Wednesday afternoon that Sanderson complained he was struggling with everyday life after the crash, and suffered a ‘frontal lobe injury’
Dr. Wendell Gibby showed X-rays and brain scans to the court Wednesday which he said indicated Sanderson’s injuries were caused by Paltrow slamming into him
Under cross examination, the medical expert said Sanderson had previously suffered from depression – but insisted it was ‘accelerated’ by the crash.
He also admitted Sanderson is ‘obsessed’ by the crash and believes he was ‘abandoned’ on the slopes – telling court that even an apology from Paltrow wouldn’t improve his situation.
Dr. Goldstein said: ‘He obsessed about being abandoned on the slope and what drives [his mental state] at this point is probably a combination of things, not just he was skied into and that person lacked remorse.
‘If the person who skied into him apologized, I don’t think it would help him today. ‘
He also testified that Sanderson suffered a ‘mind injury’ as a result of his brain injury that subsequently led to personality changes, anger issues and confused speech such as talking in circles.
The defense has repeatedly raised testimony by Sanderson’s younger daughter Jenny, who said she didn’t speak to her father for 13 years and who, Dr Goldstein noted, is currently having problems with him.
The doctor said any negative personality traits Sanderson previously had would have been accelerated by the brain injury.
He said Sanderson would get lost on hikes and lose track of where he was. He said that, prior to the accident, Sanderson was lively and active.
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