An attorney for Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow complained about the presence of a camera and various other forms of media coverage Wednesday morning in the Utah courtroom where she is standing trial over a 2016 ski crash with a retired eye doctor.
“Your honor, we have a new camera pointed directly at my client,” Paltrow’s lead defense attorney Stephen Owens told Third District Court Judge Kent Holmberg – while pointing at the camera. “Right there, on the right, which I understand is from the AP.”
The judge quickly interjected and said he would have a court representative investigate the placement of the camera “and make sure it’s pointed at the lectern rather than at the counsel table.”
Owens was not assuaged.
“This has been a problem where, for instance, reporters being in front of my client’s car,” he said. “Going out, yesterday, cameras in her face.”
Holmberg said that issue would be addressed with an assistant as well since it was raised by the “Seven” star’s side on Tuesday.
“I recognize it as a problem,” the judge said.
Owens continued to raise concerns.
“And I want to be advised if there are new changes because it’s just by chance that we see that there’s a camera pointed directly at her, which is contrary to the decorum order,” the attorney continued. “So, I don’t want changes without reporters telling you.”
The judge said he thought Paltrow’s attorney was making a “reasonable request.”
After a recess, Owens continued to make a stir about media coverage of the trial in which his client is being sued by Terry Sanderson, who claims that Paltrow’s negligence on the slopes left him with such severe brain injuries that his personality changed after the accident.
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“The camera that I referenced was a violation of the decorum order, that’s the second violation in two days,” Paltrow’s attorney said. “Still photographer directly on my client’s face. Already transmitted nationally. So, I’m mad. The decorum order we spent a lot of time on. It’s the court’s order. People are subject to criminal sanction. So, I want it to stop. I don’t want to be the one raising it. I want them to comply.”
Holmberg replied that the offending new camera had been removed but refused to “conflate” The Associated Press coverage with “what’s going on in the parking lot,” saying that was a different issue.
The judge went on to explain how he views the application of the court’s decorum order and potential violations.
“Essentially, cameras are supposed to follow the microphone,” Holmberg said – siding with the high-profile defendant. “What the court has permitted is media coverage of the proceeding. Not of the individuals who are participating in the proceeding when they’re not participating. So, if you’re speaking into a microphone, you can expect that an image will be captured. If you’re not speaking into a microphone, you should not be expecting that an image will be captured.”
“I do see this as a violation,” the judge went on. “And I’ve asked that the reporter be told that this is now interrupting our proceedings, it’s now interfering with our proceedings, having to deal with these issues. And if it happens again, the offending reporter will be asked leave.”
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Owens was still not quite satisfied.
“And the still photographer is to stay in his seat when taking pictures, is that right?” Paltrow’s attorney asked. “Stay in his location.”
The judge replied: “Unless we’re all standing, then they can stand and take a picture.”
Watch the litany of media-focused complaints in full below:
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