SALT LAKE CITY — Gwyneth Paltrow said Wednesday in a court filing that a man who accused her in a lawsuit of crashing into him at a Utah ski resort was actually the culprit in the collision and is trying to exploit her celebrity and wealth.
Paltrow was skiing with her children and friends in 2016 during a family vacation on a beginner run named “Bandana” at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, when Terry Sanderson smashed into her from behind and delivered a full “body blow,’ the actress’ attorney alleged in a counter claim filed in court. Paltrow said she was shaken by the collision and quit skiing for the day.
She said Sanderson apologized to her and said he was fine, her response to Sanderson’s lawsuit said. Paltrow had previously denied blame for the crash in a statement but had not yet offered a full version of the events.
“She did not knock him down,” Paltrow’s court filing said. “He knocked her down. He was not knocked out.”
Paltrow, known for her roles in “Shakespeare in Love” and the “Iron Man” movies and her lifestyle company named goop, said her injuries were minor and that she is seeking “symbolic damages” of $1 plus costs for her lawyers’ fees from Sanderson for defending herself against what she called a “meritless claim.’
Her legal response to Sanderson also called his lawsuit an “attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth.”
Paltrow’s account differs greatly from the sequence of the events on Feb. 26, 2016 alleged by Sanderson in his lawsuit filed last month. He said Paltrow was skiing out of control and knocked him out, leaving him with a concussion and four broken ribs. Sanderson referred to it as a “hit and run” and is seeking $3.1 million in damages.
Sanderson, a retired Salt Lake City optometrist, told reporters on the day he sued that he waited to file the lawsuit for nearly three years because he had problems with attorneys and could not function properly because of the concussion.
Sanderson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, did not immediately respond Wednesday to an email seeking comment about Paltrow’s response to his client’s lawsuit.
Sanderson’s lawsuit and Paltrow’s response to it both cite an incident report filed by a Deer Valley ski instructor about the collision.
The instructor, who was skiing with Paltrow’s 9-year-old son, said Sanderson was the uphill skier and hit Paltrow from behind. He said Paltrow had been making short turns as she skied behind her children, who were getting ski lessons downhill from her on the same ski trail, according to the report provided to The Associated Press by Paltrow’s attorney through the actress’ spokeswoman, Heather Wilson. Paltrow’s lawyers plan to submit the report as an exhibit in the court case, Wilson said.
But the instructor said in his report said he did not actually see the collision and only heard Paltrow scream and hit the ground. He did not explain in the report how he knew that Sanderson caused the collision.
Sanderson in his lawsuit accused the instructor of filing a false report. Sanderson said he also heard Paltrow scream, right before he said she crashed into him, his lawsuit said.
Deer Valley Resort spokeswoman Emily Summers said Wednesday that the resort cannot comment on pending legal matters. Sanderson’s lawsuit against Paltrow also includes the resort as a defendant.
The resort’s attorneys asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit in a court filing Tuesday in which they denied that the instructor falsified the report and defended how ski patrol personnel responded to the crash.
The resort said its ski patrol hauled Sanderson in a toboggan to a medical tent after the collision. The resort denied it inflicted the emotional distress Sanderson said he suffered after the collision.
“A recreational skiing accident that plaintiff waited nearly three years to sue on simply does not constitute an event that renders a ’reasonable person unable to cope with his daily life,” Deer Valley said in its court filing.
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TORONTO — Ontario’s education minister is defending the $140,000 salary for a failed Tory candidate to lead a standardized testing organization — a job that was previously a part-time appointment.
Cameron Montgomery was announced recently as the new full-time chair of the board of directors of the Education Quality and Accountability Office, a position that had previously been part-time with an up to $225 per diem.
Montgomery unsuccessfully ran for the Progressive Conservatives in last year’s election, but his background is in education, including as a professor of education at the University of Ottawa.
Education Minister Lisa Thompson said Wednesday that Montgomery was the “absolute perfect fit” to fix standardized testing in Ontario.
“The natural measurement of success is seeing the math scores actually improve and ensure that teachers, parents and students alike are comfortable with the manner in which we measure standardization moving forward,” Thompson said.
When asked how the head of an organization that administers standardized tests could help improve math scores, Thompson said teachers and parents have complained about the tests.
“We feel we needed to start at the top and make sure that EQAO has the right leadership and full-time focus to ensure that we have the type of administration when it comes to standardization that supports teachers and ultimately students in the classroom so parents once and for all have confidence in our system,” she said.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Thompson’s connection of Montgomery’s appointment to math scores is “reaching for straws to try to explain something that is non-supportable no matter what.”
“It’s absolutely a ticket onto the (Premier Doug) Ford gravy train for a failed candidate,” Horwath said. “Like other appointments that Mr. Ford has made, it’s a chance for Mr. Ford to have somebody in a position where he can manipulate the agency involved.”
Ford family friend Ron Taverner has been named Ontario Provincial Police commissioner, though the appointment has been delayed pending an investigation by the integrity commissioner.
Taverner initially did not meet the requirements listed for the commissioner position. The Ford government has admitted it lowered the requirements for the position to attract a wider range of candidates.
Jenni Byrne left her post as principal secretary for an appointment with the Ontario Energy Board with an annual salary of about $197,000.
Past Progressive Conservative party president Rueben Devlin was granted a three-year term as a health-care adviser, Ford campaign adviser Ian Todd was appointed Ontario’s trade representative to the United States, with a $350,000 salary, and Ford family lawyer Gavin Tighe was appointed to the Public Accountants Council.
The government noted that Montgomery’s salary comes from the existing EQAO budget.
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VANCOUVER — A new Heritage Minute is sharing the story of a pioneering baseball team in British Columbia and the government policy that tore them apart.
Composed of Japanese Canadian players, the Vancouver Asahi initially struggled against their larger Caucasian competitors and were even booed by baseball fans, said Grace Eiko Thomson, who has spent many years telling the team’s story through a variety of projects.
The Asahi adopted a new playing style in the early 1920s, focusing on strategies like bunting and base stealing, and soon surged to success, winning various championships across the Pacific Northwest.
Watch the Vancouver Asahi Heritage Minute:
Eiko Thomson was a child when the team was rising to prominence, and she remembers going to the field with her father to watch them practice. It was an era when Japanese-Canadians faced harsh discrimination in their communities, but she said baseball gave the Asahi a unique opportunity.
“On the playing field, they could prove that they’re equals,” she said. “Even though their everyday lives were terrible, they looked forward to playing the ball game and once they started to win … the fans began to cheer for them.”
The winning streak ended in 1941.
Shortly after the Asahi played their last game of the year, the players were forcefully scattered across the country. In total, the federal government sent 22,000 people of Japanese descent to internment camps for the duration of the Second World War.
Eiko Thomson was in Grade 2 when her family had to leave for a site in B.C.’s interior.
A Heritage Minute released by Historica Canada on Wednesday depicts both the success of the Asahi and the stark, difficult life of the camps.
A young Japanese man is seen being disrespected on a city street and sliding on the baseball field to cheers from a raucous crowd. He’s seen in a crowded bunk house in B.C.’s unforgiving wilderness and pitching to a small boy in an overgrown field.
“Baseball helped get us through the internment,” Kaye Kaminishi, the sole surviving member of the original Asahi, says in a voice over.
The video ends with a shot of the 97-year-old former third baseman sitting on a bench, dressed in the team’s old uniform, bats at his side.
Working with Kaminishi was a special experience and many actors from the shoot crowded around him to hear his every word, said Anthony Wilson-Smith, president and CEO of Historica Canada.
“He’s got a great dignity. He’s not embittered by his experience. He’s very matter of fact,” Wilson-Smith said.
“I think we look at events that were 70 or even 80 years ago and we feel that they’re somehow divorced from us. This minute is a reminder that there’s still someone walking among us who lived through this experience and there are quite a few Japanese-Canadians who were born in this country and were interned in the war.”
While all Heritage Minutes are done in both French and English, a Japanese version was also created to tell the story of the Vancouver Asahi.
Wilson-Smith said he believes it’s just the second time a Heritage Minute has been filmed in a third language. The story of Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak was previously done in Inuktitut.
There was a special feeling about working on the Asahi project, Wilson-Smith said, in part because several scenes were shot at a former internment camp east of Hope, B.C.
Listen: Mark Furukawa discusses how his parents’ internment in Japanese camps in B.C. affected his Canadian identity
“You almost feel like you’re blurring lines or crossing over in eras,” he said.
The production was filmed at a former bunk house and in a field at the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum, a site now dedicated to telling the story of Japanese internment. A bat and benches from the former camp were borrowed for the shoot.
“It was just completely surreal seeing the cast members, mostly Japanese-Canadians, walking around in era-correct clothing. It was kind of the live, colour version of these photographs that I’ve been looking at for the last eight years now,” said Ryan Ellan, the museum’s curator.
“There were a few tears that day.”
More from HuffPost Canada:
In 1988, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney issued a formal apology for the internment of Japanese-Canadians and offered compensation to survivors. But there’s still “historical amnesia” around the issue, Ellan said.
“The majority of Canadians in general are not aware of the internment history,” he said. “Bottom line, it was a racially driven program and the Asahi played such an important part, not just for Japanese Canadians but for the entire Vancouver baseball league.”
The Vancouver Asahi’s history is one of perseverance and hard work, both on and off the field, Eiko Thomson said.
“The Asahi story is an incredible one because it has to do with a team, a team of players and how they overcame,” she said. “Most of the stories of struggle don’t have that aspect.”
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LONDON — Shamima Begum, a London teenager who left Britain four years ago to join the Islamic State group, is to be stripped of her U.K. citizenship by the government, her family’s lawyer said Tuesday.
Attorney Tasnime Akunjee tweeted that the family is “very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship.”
He said the family is “considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision.”
ITV News reported that the family had received a letter from the Home Office, which oversees immigration, saying that the order revoking Begum’s British citizenship had already been made. The letter said Begum could appeal the decision.
Begum left London with two friends in 2015, when she was 15, and travelled to Syria. Now 19 and living in a refugee camp, she says she has given birth to a baby and wants to come home.
The case has reignited a debate in the U.K. about how to deal with citizens who joined IS but want to return home now that the group is on the verge of collapse. U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded that European countries take back their citizens who fought in Syria, but European nations are worried about security.
Begum was found this month by The Times newspaper in a refugee camp in Syria. She said she had fled the Islamic State group’s last enclave.
The teenager said she had married an IS fighter, had lost two children through malnutrition and disease, and wanted her newly born baby boy to grow up in Britain.
In a series of interviews with British media, she criticized some aspects of the Islamic State group and its self-proclaimed caliphate, but said she does not regret going there.
She said she had been “OK with” beheadings carried out by Islamic State adherents because she believed it was allowed under Islamic law.
“I think a lot of people should have sympathy towards me for everything I’ve been through,” she told Sky News. “I just was hoping that maybe for me, for the sake of me and my child, they let me come back.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who oversees immigration, said Monday he would not hesitate to prevent the return of Britons who travelled abroad to join IS.
The British government has the power to remove citizenship on national-security grounds, though not if it would make the individual stateless. It was not immediately clear whether Begum has a second nationality.
Javid told lawmakers on Monday that more than 100 dual nationals had been stripped of their U.K. citizenship for terrorism-related reasons.
Hundreds of Britons have already returned from IS-controlled areas. Some have been prosecuted, and others put through deradicalization programs.
British officials say about 900 Britons went to areas of Syria and Iraq that were controlled by the group. Of those, around 20% were killed, and about half of the survivors have returned to Britain.
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