Gwyneth Paltrow's Controversial 'Wellness Routine' Is A 'Distraction' From Another Scandal, Says Publicist — What She's Hiding

Sure, going viral just before she goes on trial for a skiing accident could just be a coincidence. But it's awfully convenient...

Gwyneth Paltrow, screenshots from her recent social media uproars, and TikToker Molly McPherson dearmedia / TikTok; gwynethpaltrow / Instagram; Andrea Raffin /; mollybmcpherson / TikTok; Canva

Was the viral outrage over Gwyneth Paltrow's "wellness routine" a calculated deflection from scandal? That's what a veteran public relations professional thinks, and her theory makes a ton of sense.

Paltrow has been everywhere in the news following a podcast appearance in which she detailed an insanely restrictive approach to diet and health that many have called "disordered" and "dangerous." 

Paltrow has since clarified that her comments were taken out of context, but as someone with the power to closely control her public image, some are finding it hard to believe the uproar was a mistake — especially given the latest news about Paltrow's life.


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Gwyneth Paltrow may be trying to distract from her trial for a 2016 'hit-and-run' skiing accident in Utah. 

Fellow skier Terry Sanderson accuses Paltrow of colliding with him, injuring him, and then fleeing the scene at the ultra-exclusive Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival is held each January.

Gwyneth Paltrow is being sued for $300,000 for seriously injuring retired optometrist Terry Sanderson in the skiing accident.

In legal filings, Sanderson's attorneys claim "Gwyneth Paltrow skied out of control, knocking [Sanderson] down hard, knocking him out, and causing a brain injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries."


The suit goes on to claim that Paltrow immediately fled the scene afterward. "Paltrow got up, turned, and skied away," Sanderson's attorneys continue, "leaving Sanderson stunned, lying in the snow, seriously injured."

Sanderson's suit claims the Park City incident was a result of Paltrow's negligence and left him with both physical injuries and emotional distress.

Gwyneth Paltrow blames Sanderson for the skiing accident and is expected to take the stand to testify on her own behalf in the trial.

Sanderson initially sued for $3.1 million dollars but reduced his requested damages after Paltrow filed a countersuit claiming it was Sanderson who dealt her a "full-body blow" in the collision.

A key question in the trial is the fact that in skiing accidents, the skiier farther downhill is considered to have the right-of-way. Both Paltrow and Sanderson have claimed to have been farther downhill at the time of their collision. Sanderson has also claimed that Deer Valley staff helped Paltrow in a "cover-up" of her liability in the accident.


But Paltrow's attorneys claim that, given Paltrow's wealth and celebrity as the Oscar-winning star of films like "Shakespeare In Love" and the CEO of successful wellness company Goop, Sanderson is attempting to extort Paltrow out of millions of dollars.  Her attorneys wrote in a 2019 legal filing that Sanderson threatened Paltrow that, "if she did not pay, she would face negative publicity resulting from his allegations."

This brings us to Paltrow's recent "wellness routine" uproar.

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Gwyneth Paltrow has since clarified her controversial IV-based 'wellness routine' is part of her treatment for long COVID.

Paltrow drew widespread ire online for detailing her "wellness routine" on the podcast "The Art of Being Well With Dr. Will Cole."




Paltrow said her routine includes an incredibly restrictive paleo diet of nothing but bone broth for lunch and intravenous infusions of obscure nutrients and vitamins — Paltrow had an IV in her arm during the podcast taping itself, in fact. Clips from the podcast sparked outrage and accusations that Paltrow was advocating for disordered eating. 

In response, Paltrow took to her Instagram account to clarify that the podcast clips were missing important context — the podcast's host Dr. Will Cole is her personal doctor, and the "wellness routine" she detailed is part of a specialized treatment program for long COVID, from which Paltrow suffers.

But if you're like many people — this writer included — you may be asking yourself, "Why didn't she just say that in the first place?" After all, as an A-list celebrity and CEO, Paltrow absolutely has control over how she is portrayed when she appears in the media. Why blithely pass off bone broth and IVs as just a normal, every day way to eat when it is in fact part of treatment for a debilitating illness?


That's where the aforementioned public relations professional comes in.

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A publicist on TikTok thinks the backlash to Gwyneth Paltrow's 'wellness routine' was a calculated distraction from her skiing accident trial.

TikToker Molly McPherson is a longtime public relations professional who's had a lengthy career in crisis communication — the method by which publicists help soften the impact of negative news stories for brands and celebrities.

She uses her TikTok platform to inform people about how PR works, particularly for celebrities, and she calls Paltrow's recent "wellness routine" controversy "the classic PR distraction trick."




In a recent TikTok, McPherson pointed to a screenshot of Paltrow's appearance on the podcast as an example of "a trending news story that makes you say to yourself, 'I don't get it.'" 

McPherson then showed a screenshot of a headline that reads, "Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Collison Trial Begins As Actor Sued Over Horror Crash." Pointing to the headline, McPherson said, "Now you get it" — the implication being that Paltrow did this all on purpose.

Public perception frequently has an impact on court cases, of course, especially when celebrities are involved, and the timing of these various Paltrow news stories does seem rather convenient.


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Paltrow may be trying to gain sympathy before her trial, and there's a chance it backfires.

After not having been in the news in any major way for quite some time, Paltrow suddenly sparked an enormous controversy and then responded with a sympathetic story about struggling with long COVID, all just days before news broke of her being on trial for a skiing accident.

Perhaps it's all just coincidental serendipity, but celebrities staging PR stunts isn't exactly an uncommon thing — especially when they have something to cover up, and as an A-list Hollywood figure and the CEO of a multi-million dollar lifestyle brand, it's highly unlikely Paltrow would do any media appearances without a publicist's guidance.


Some on TikTok feel it may be having the opposite impact, however. After all, had you even heard about Paltrow's ski crash until recently "Who even heard of the collision before her IV interview?" one TikToker mused. "It drew attention to [it] not from it."

Others called out Paltrow's seeming scheme as yet another version of the so-called "Streisand Effect," the phenomenon in which a celebrity's attempts to deflect from a story end up throwing far more attention on it than it would have drawn otherwise.

The term stems from a 2003 incident in which Streisand sued a photographer who photographed her Malibu home as an example of beach erosion for research purposes, claiming it violated her privacy. Just ten people had viewed the photo prior to her lawsuit. After the suit, millions of people viewed and downloaded it, and the photo has been readily Googlable ever since.

Similarly, all eyes are now on Paltrow as her trial over what was previously an obscure skiing accident begins. Whether her narrative in the court of public opinion will help her in an actual courtroom is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure—she's gotten our attention.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.