From Gwyneth Paltrow to Taylor Swift: Why celebrities sue people to win one dollar

She’s officially gwynnocent!

With a flawless neutral courtroom wardrobe and a testimony that spawned a thousand memes, Gwyneth Paltrow won her court case against former optometrist Terry Sanderson over a 2016 ski accident in Utah on Thursday. Your honour, she’s gwynnocent. Let her Goop another day. “I wish you well,” she told Sanderson as she strode out of the door.

But after years of legal legwork, hours of court questioning and more celebrity attention than any optometrist has ever received in their life, Gwyneth walked away with $1. Yup, one whole American dollar. It hardly seems worth the effort. And she’s not the only celebrity who’s sued for so little. In 2017, Taylor Swift took David Mueller to court for battery and sexual assault with damages amounting to the same. So, in case you’re confused, here’s everything you need to know about the symbolic victory:

Okay so, why do celebrities sue people for only $1?

Gwyneth Paltrow one dollar

Credit: Instagram (@evanrosskatz)

In Gwyneth’s case, Terry sued her for over $3 million, an amount the judge shot down and changed to $300,000. Contrastingly, Gwyneth only countersued Terry’s claim over their Park City ski slope crash for $1 and the main reason is the principle the singular dollar symbolises.

Gwyneth’s estimated wealth is $200 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. So, obviously, she doesn’t need the money. With such a small claim, Gwyneth is making a point that the court case and the payout aren’t significant to her.

Terry will now have to cover her legal expenses and hand her the $1, which means she breaks even and has been proven right – all she ever really wanted. Plus, she made sure Terry’s claims didn’t damage her reputation:

“I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity,” she wrote on Instagram after the verdict in her favour. “I am pleased with the outcome and I appreciate all of the hard work of Judge Holmberg and the jury, and thank them for their thoughtfulness in handling this case.”

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