The actress and Goop founder was criticized by some for her $5,700 London summit that was held at the end of June
At the end of last month, Paltrow, 46, and her lifestyle brand, which covers everything from health to beauty to style, held a wellness summit in London.
At the exclusive event, attendees were charged $5,700 for a weekend pass that included a two-night hotel stay at the Kimpton Fitzroy hotel, wellness-trend workshops, food pop-ups, a variety of speaker panels and a VIP workout with Anderson, 44, and Paltrow.
Paltrow, however, faced backlash when some attendees felt the event didn’t live up to its promise and criticized the star for ripping them off, even going so far as to call her a “pretentious, greedy extortionist.”
In response to the criticism, Anderson stood up for her friend and longtime client this week by arguing that nobody was forced to attend the summit.
“It’s just options. She’s not telling anyone what to do, or what to wear,” the celebrity fitness guru told Page Six. “Everyone has a voice now on social media — if you are too negative, people are going to start shutting down and communities are going to be destroyed instead of built up.”
Anderson, who has six fitness studios in the United States, an outpost in Spain and a training team in London, went on to note that her gyms are also expensive, but worth the hefty price tag.
“My gyms are $900 a month,” she pointed out to Page Six. “I have been criticized time and time again, but if people really understood the craftsmanship it takes to run custom prescriptions programs at that level — in the real estate I’m in — they would understand that opportunity has a price tag. It’s just the system we live in.”
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Anderson doesn’t understand balance, either. “I also … make sure I have $9.99 DVDs,” she explained to the outlet. “I am creating options, and Goop is also creating options.”
This isn’t the first time the friends have become involved with criticism over Goop.
In December 2017, Paltrow’s company came under backlash again when critics claimed it endorsed a potentially harmful extreme diet promoted by Anderson.
In an article, the trainer answered questions about losing weight and said to follow a gluten-free, low-carb diet while also plugging her own brand of protein bars, which she suggested dieters should eat instead of breakfast.
Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert later told The Independent that the diet had the potential to be “extremely damaging” and could negatively impact mental and physical health.
But the backlash didn’t scare Goop. “We would never advocate for an unhealthy diet or extreme routine,” a representative for the company told E! News. “As Tracy said in the interview, you should make choices based on what is best for your individual body.”
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Anderson’s spokesperson also stood by her words, telling E! News, “Over the course of her 20-year career, Tracy has consistently practiced owning a 1-2 lb. weight loss per week when someone has unhealthy weight to lose. Owning a 1-2 lb. weight loss per week is different than simply dropping 1-2 lbs. per week, which causes people to hold onto unhealthy weight.”
“Of the 14 lbs. that someone could effectively lose in a month — if they have excess weight on them — the goal is to own 8 lbs. of that, which is aligned with Tracy’s practice of not living on extreme diets,” the spokesperson continued.
“Tracy does not advocate for processed foods existing in a healthy diet,” Anderson’s rep added.
A rep for Paltrow did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.