Exclusive: Juror in Gwyneth Paltrow ski trial case speaks out
Samantha Imrie was juror No. 11 in the high-profile case.
The jury sided with the actor and Goop CEO in a unanimous decision, concluding that Paltrow was not at fault in a 2016 collision between her and retired optometrist Terry Sanderson on a Utah ski slope.
Samantha Imrie was juror No. 11 in the trial.
"The whole thing was a little shocking to me," the 31-year-old told ABC News.
Imrie said she changed her opinion multiple times as the trial unfolded but after the eight-person jury began deliberating, it took them only a couple of hours to reach the same decision.
She said she did find Paltrow's testimony convincing.
"I think there was, in the back of my mind, yes, this woman's an actress and I took that into account, but I didn't feel she had a reason to lie under oath," Imrie said. "She's always in the spotlight so she always has to be honest."
When it came to Sanderson, Imrie said, "He was telling his truth and I think unfortunately some of that has been distorted due to some other factors, but I do think he did not intend to tell a truth that wasn't his truth."
Ultimately, Imrie said she felt the expert witnesses, like Dr. Irving Scher, who testified on Paltrow's behalf, helped her reach a conclusion.
"He's a snow sports expert in many different ways. I think the fact that Dr. Scher could speak to the din settings and he specifically studied snow science, that he had a stronger opinion," Imrie said.
She said social media photos of Sanderson traveling around the world following the 2016 accident also didn't help the case. Sanderson had claimed that the collision between him and Paltrow had left him with "serious brain injuries."
"I think I wrote down, 'Wow, I need to make some more money so I can go travel this way.' I wouldn't have thought he was capable of those things based on the picture that had been painted."
And although this high-profile case involved Paltrow, a celebrity, Imrie said her training as a nurse helped her focus on the facts of the case and not who was involved.
"I think it's important that the public doesn't just think that this was a win because Gwyneth's a celebrity. I mean, this is based on the evidence. This is based on the law," she said. "I do work in medicine and you have to look at everyone the same. So I think that that should apply in the courtroom as well."
Sanderson had asked for $300,000 in damages but he'll instead have to pay Paltrow $1 in "symbolic damages" and pay for her attorneys' fees and costs.
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