As we near the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’re apparently getting closer and closer to the point where we’re allowed to famewhore off one of the most devastating attacks on American soil (Good news, Giuliani!) There’s a story going around right now about a woman who is convinced that Gwyneth Paltrow saved her life on 9/11, by … Actually, not really doing anything.
“It was one of those mornings that felt good, you had a little skip in your step. What the heck — I always cut across 7th Avenue,” Clarke tells the Morton Report. “Then all of the sudden a silver Mercedes SUV came barreling down towards me.”
“I stopped and they screeched to a halt. Then it developed into one of those classic who-goes-first situations. It got ridiculous. Then I made eye contact with the Mercedes driver. OMG it was Gwyneth Paltrow,” Clarke reveals of the Oscar-winning actress, now 37.
At the time, Paltrow and Clarke both lived in the posh downtown area. “She waved me across, I crossed and she continued on her way. At least if I was late for work I had a story to tell.”
But when Clarke rushed downstairs to catch her train, the doors had slammed shut, hurtling downtown out of the station. (The scene mirrored Paltrow’s film Sliding Doors, in which a missed subway train dramatically changes her character’s life.)
“At that time I was annoyed at everything that had made me late that day, including Gwyneth Paltrow,” Clarke admits.
When Clarke caught the next train and got out at her stop by the WTC, it was 8:47 a.m. — and it was “total chaos” in the subway station.
Finally, Clarke got above ground, and saw the destruction. “I looked up and there was a big gaping hole in the World Trade Center…That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life – my office exploded.” SOURCE
While I am happy that someone managed to survive the disaster, I don’t think “I got momentarily side-tracked by Gwyneth Paltrow’s car” necessarily translates into “Gwyneth Paltrow saved my life!” I mean, it’s not like she’s saying that the subway driver saved her life by not waiting for her, so what makes Gwyneth the one major component in all of this? A major life event like this isn’t based solely on one factor, and while I’m happy all these pieces came together to save her life, I wouldn’t point to GOOP-y and say “Yup, that’s the bitch that saved her!”