Gwyneth Paltrow: I was called a freak for doing yoga

Lizzie Edmonds
Trendsetter: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow: Phillip Faraone/Getty

Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted people thought she was a “crackpot” when she adopted a clean-eating diet two decades ago — and claims she was branded a “freak” for her interest in yoga.

The 46-year-old actress and founder of controversial lifestyle brand Goop said her passion for wellness began after her late father Bruce was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998.

Paltrow told Wall Street Journal magazine: “That was the beginning of people thinking I was a crackpot. Like, ‘What do you mean food can affect your health, you f****** psycho?’

“I remember when I started doing yoga and people were like, ‘what is yoga? She’s a witch. She’s a freak.’” Though yoga has been around for thousands of years, Paltrow suggested she had helped popularise it in the West by touting its benefits.

Couple: Gwyneth Paltrow wed second husband Brad Falchuk in September (ParisaMichelle /

She admitted she was shocked when she turned up at a yoga class and was asked if she had ever had a lesson before. Paltrow, who married her second husband, TV producer Brad Falchuk, in September, explained: “Forgive me if this comes out wrong, I went to do a yoga class in LA recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?’ And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘You have this job because I’ve done yoga before.’” She has a yoga studio at home and is so close to her yoga teacher, Eddie Stern, that he officiated at her wedding.

Paltrow, who has two children with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, started Goop a decade ago. The brand opened a pop-up in London earlier this year. It has faced scrutiny and even legal action regarding unscientific claims made about some products it lists on its site.

She admitted criticism of her beliefs used to bother her but she now embraces it, and said: “I’m so happy to suffer those slings and arrows, because if you look at the culture from then to now, people are so curious.

Working out: Gwyneth Paltrow on the beach (Instagram/ Gwyneth Paltrow )

“It’s so beautiful to see people feeling empowered by natural solutions or ancient modalities alongside science and medicine.”

Earlier this year, the star denied in a BBC interview that her Goop site was based on “pseudoscience”.

She said: “There are healing modalities that have existed [for] thousands of years, and they challenge maybe a very conventional Western doctor that might not believe necessarily in the healing powers of essential oils or any variety of acupuncture, things that have been tried and tested for hundred of years.”