The Upshot

Gwyneth Paltrow speaks out about “extraordinary story” of 9/11 run-in

The Upshot

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Gwyneth Paltrow (REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

In an unusual twist of fate, one grateful New Yorker credited Gwyneth Paltrow with her survival on Sept.11. In an interview with The Morton Report titled "How Gwyneth Paltrow Saved My Life on 9/11," Lara Lundstrom Clarke explained the domino effect of a chance encounter with the actress, and now Paltrow is also weighing in on the incident.

"Basically, what happened was I had gone to a yoga class very early," Paltrow said while promoting her new film at the Venice Film Festival.  "I was on the way home and it was the morning of September 11 -- not that I knew at the time what that meant -- and a girl was jaywalking across the street and we kind of both stopped at the same time and waited a really long time," said Paltrow.

It sounds like a minimal moment, but it stopped Clarke from hurrying to her office in the twin towers, where she was an account manager at Baseline Financial Services on the 77th floor of tower 2.  She'd been jaywalking to catch her train and make it to work on time. Clarke says Paltrow waved her across the street but the incident cost her valuable minutes. She reached the subway just in time to watch the doors close.

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She was forced to catch the next subway train, which kept her from reaching her office before the attack that killed four of her coworkers. "If I had made that train, I would have been at my desk on the 77th floor of 2 World Trade Center," she told The Morton Report.

"Ten years later, I got a letter from her saying that she had been late for work and we had that thing and she went down to the Christopher Street station to catch her train to go down to the World Trade Center where she worked on the 77th floor of the South Tower and the train was just pulling out," says Paltrow. "It was an extraordinary story and all I could think about is all of the people who had experiences like that that day, but aren't able to reach out because it wasn't a recognizable person. I think a lot of fates were changed that day obviously and I am very humbly happy to be a part of her story."

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