Body language expert JUDI JAMES analyses Gwyneth Paltrow in court like a ‘teacher starting lessons’

Gwyneth Paltrow has appeared in court accused of ‘slamming’ into a 72-year-old retired optometrist while skiing in Utah’s Deer Valley Resort in February 2016.

The Oscar-winner, 50, took her seat for the second of her eight-day trial in the Third District Court in Park City, Utah, where she has claimed she did not hit Sanderson and was, instead, the victim of the crash.

Dr. Terry Sanderson, 76, sued Paltrow in January 2019 and alleged she crashed into the back of him and abandoned the scene down Bandana Mountain.

He was initially seeking damages in excess of $3.1 million after the accident left him with a ‘permanent traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement.’

A judge dismissed Sanderson’s original claim of hit-and-run and the Utah Resort and Paltrow’s instructor were removed from the lawsuit – and it is now a $300,000 claim solely against the actress.

Body language expert Judi James has analyzed Paltrow’s behavior and revealed that she believes the Hollywood actress has breezed into court ‘like a schoolteacher arriving to start lessons’. 

Gwyneth Paltrow has appeared in court accused of ‘slamming’ into a 72-year-old retired optometrist while skiing in Utah’s Deer Valley Resort in February 2016

Body language expert Judi James has analysed Paltrow's behaviour and revealed that she believes the Hollywood actress has breezed into court 'like a schoolteacher arriving to start lessons'

Body language expert Judi James has analysed Paltrow’s behaviour and revealed that she believes the Hollywood actress has breezed into court ‘like a schoolteacher arriving to start lessons’

Retired optometrist Dr. Terry Sanderson, 76, (pictured) sued Paltrow in January 2019 and alleged she crashed into the back of him and abandoned the scene down Bandana Mountain

Retired optometrist Dr. Terry Sanderson, 76, (pictured) sued Paltrow in January 2019 and alleged she crashed into the back of him and abandoned the scene down Bandana Mountain

Paltrow’s body language seems to fluctuate between two extremes: with her brows raised in the highest or arches and her chin lifted she can appear superior and slightly dismissive.  

As she takes her seat she wriggles into her chair and crosses her legs with an air of deliberation. Smoothing and straightening her clothing and her hair she pulls her jumper down over her torso as though trying to establish a sense of calm order and control. As the prosecutor is speaking there is even what looks like a gentle tapping of her fingers to suggest impatience.

But then there are non-verbal cues that look designed to suggest vulnerability and a desire to self-protect or hide. The roll-neck of her jumper is not rolled over, so it sticks up like a funnel with her head poking out the top.

At one point as they muster for a break she drops her head dramatically in a way that almost implies tears or a partial collapse, turning in her chair and rubbing her fingers over the neck of her water bottle.

There is an oddly nervous-looking girlish giggle at the judge at one point, then as she leaves the courtroom she seems to bolt out, covering her face with a notebook or folder as though not aware she has not been on courtroom cameras throughout and suddenly suffering a desire to hide.

Paltrow arrived at the courthouse looking like someone suffering in almost physical pain. Her long thick coat was wrapped double around her torso and one arm wrapped just as tightly around her waist.

With her head down and her eyes hidden behind a large pair of shades she looked desperate to use any barrier to hide behind. Even her free hand was raised to perform a partial cut-off ritual, hiding her face as she ran it through her hair.

Once inside she seemed to adopt signals of raised confidence and authority. Paltrow breezed into the courtroom like a schoolteacher arriving to start lessons. Smoothing and flicking her hair she ignored the man who gallantly pulled her seat out for her and threw her file down onto the desk.

Her brows were raised in a gesture of mild distain and she performed several pursing gestures of her lips to add to this air of authority. She looked keen to get this dealt with.

Her body language after this seemed to fluctuate between two extremes: with her brows raised in the highest or arches and her chin lifted she could appear superior and slightly dismissive.

As she took her seat she wriggled into her chair in a gesture of impatience and crossed her legs with an air of deliberation. Smoothing and straightening her clothing and her hair she pulled her jumper down over her torso like a flap as though trying to establish a sense of calm order and control.

The clutching of the jumper did suggest anxiety, as did the sucking in of the lips as she did it. As the prosecutor was speaking there was even what looked like a gentle tapping of her fingers to suggest mild impatience, as though she had somewhere else to be.

The Oscar-winner, 50, took her seat for the third of her eight-day trial in the Third District Court in Park City, Utah, where she has claims she did not hit Sanderson and was, instead, the victim of the crash

The Oscar-winner, 50, took her seat for the third of her eight-day trial in the Third District Court in Park City, Utah, where she has claims she did not hit Sanderson and was, instead, the victim of the crash

A judge dismissed Sanderson's original claim of hit-and-run and the Utah Resort and Paltrow's instructor were removed from the lawsuit - and it is now a $300,000 claim solely against the actress (pictured in court on Tuesday)

A judge dismissed Sanderson’s original claim of hit-and-run and the Utah Resort and Paltrow’s instructor were removed from the lawsuit – and it is now a $300,000 claim solely against the actress (pictured in court on Tuesday)

Paltrow in a social media post the year before the accident at Deer Valley resort in Utah. She captioned the post: '20 years later and I still got it #justlikeridingabike'

Paltrow in a social media post the year before the accident at Deer Valley resort in Utah. She captioned the post: ’20 years later and I still got it #justlikeridingabike’

Deer Valley Resort, where the ski slope crash took place, is pictured

 Deer Valley Resort, where the ski slope crash took place, is pictured

But then there were non-verbal cues that look designed to suggest vulnerability and a desire to self-protect or hide. Once the wrapped-around self-hugging comfort gesture of her coat was removed the roll-neck of her jumper was not rolled over, so it sticked up like a funnel with her head poking out the top.

At one point as they mustered for a break she dropped her head dramatically in a gesture that made her look momentarily broken, implying the start of tears or a partial collapse.

She turned in her chair in a self-comfort rocking gesture and rubbed her fingers over the neck of her water bottle, hinting at anxiety. When she lifted her head from this ritual though her chin was raised, suggesting she had re-grouped and mustered her previous sense of authority.

There Was an oddly nervous-looking girlish giggle at the judge at one point, as though she was keen to depict them as an ally.

When she left the courtroom she seemed to bolt out. Suddenly camera-shy despite having been on camera openly for the proceedings, she covered her face with her large folder, holding it up in a defensive gesture as though oddly expecting to be papped inside the courtroom.

This desire to hide looked sudden and slightly irrational under the circumstances, perhaps driven by anxiety as much as a knee-jerk desire for A-list-style privacy.

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