Even when celebrities try to get away from the limelight for a while to decompress, their fame still follows.  Gwyneth Paltrow, an avid downhill skier, likes to destress on the slopes.  Unfortunately, her hobby doesn’t always provide the relaxing retreat she needs.

Paltrow is currently in a heated debate over whether she caused a collision with a retired optometrist at a ski resort in Park City, Utah.  Lawsuit plaintiff, 72-year-old Terry Sanderson, is suing the Oscar-winning actress, claiming she struck him from beyond as they both headed downhill and Paltrow failed to stop after the crash to ensure he was okay.  Sanderson said he suffered four broken ribs and a traumatic brain injury as a result, which has left him with short-term memory loss.

Paltrow’s account of the incident is quite different.  She says that Sanderson actually ran into her from behind, and immediately after, she assured he was okay.  She is counter-suing for a symbolic $1, saying Sanderson is simply trying “to exploit her fame and fortune.”  Sanderson is seeking $3.1 million in his suit.

“Resolution of this counterclaim will demonstrate that Plaintiff (Sanderson) ran into Ms. Paltrow and nonetheless blamed her for it in an attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth,” Paltrow’s attorneys responded.  In the he-said-she-said situation, both parties contend the other delivered a hard, unforeseen “body blow.”

“The statement made by Ms. Paltrow that Dr. Sanderson hit her from behind is false,” Bob Sykes, a Salt Lake City-based attorney for the optometrist, said of the counter-claim, adding, “Paltrow clearly hit Dr. Sanderson from behind.  Dr. Sanderson was the downhill skier and had the right-of-way.  It is unfortunate that Ms. Paltrow would fail to tell the truth about what happened.”

More money, more problems?  Paltrow has been looking to scale back a bit these days.  The actress recently dished to PEOPLE that she largely folded her Hollywood moviemaking career, because she doesn’t feel like the types of roles she’s best known for are available anymore.

Paltrow, who won the 1998 best actress Academy Award for her role in Shakespeare in Love, revealed, “I think the movies and the business around them have changed so much in the last 20 years.  I don’t think any of the movies that I’m known for would get made today.  Would they make The Royal Tenenbaums? Would they make The Talented Mr. Ripley?  Would they make Shakespeare in Love?”

She feels the film scene has been focused on a much younger audience as of late, so she has shifted gears to focus on promoting healthy eating and stress-free living via her Goop website.  Too bad she’s had to handle a few personal matters along the way.

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Photo:  Andrea Raffin | Creative Commons | Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported