The trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is at the center of attention these days. This trial brought so many shocking details about their relationship that the court still has difficulties in proving who’s in the right. As more and more evidence and claims are brought to life, professionals are coming up with their own tactics to see who is lying – and that’s body language.
Most of the communication that we do is non-verbal, which means that your body language may have the same effects in court as your own words. For this purpose, multiple body language experts have taken a closer look at what Depp and Heard “said” non-verbally. Can we get an idea of who’s right? We don’t know yet – but we will see!
Amber Heard’s Body Language
With the trial videos posted online for everyone to see, various body language experts, including Austin Iuliano and Janine Driver, took a strong look at both parties, noting their facial expressions and gestures.
One extremely telling gesture that Iuliano pointed out was that while Amber Heard was looking at the jury, Depp was not. As with public speaking, direct eye contact with a party allows you to see the reactions of the jury and adjust your behavior in real-time.
Iuliano also noted that you could see her face shifting to a “sad face”, presumably trying to call out emotion from the jury. He added that her face seemed like she tried to create tears, but her tears ended up dry and felt overall forced.
On the other hand, Janine Driver focused on other factors, such as how Heard’s face appeared to “leak contempt” on the left side of her face. This signified moral superiority which, in Driver’s experience, was out of place for a battered woman. She also noted how Heard was frequently touching her face, and looking down, which could suggest shame and anxiety.
Forensic psychologist Dr. Dawn Hughes took on a different approach. He noted that Heard had a more “turtled” attitude as if trying to retreat into a shell, giving non-answer statements, and trying to bring as little attention to herself as possible. According to Hughes, Amber showed defensive body language, like when she aggressively scratched her shoulder until the microphone nearly came off.
He also said that Heard would repeatedly shift her eyes – the reason likely being a “condescending lack of interest.” At the same time, she showed contractions in her forehead and skin, showing signs of stress when a chain of attacks was directed at Depp.
Depp’s Body Language
Johnny Depp’s body language also suggested a variety of things. Driver pointed out the fact that Johnny would show an occasional smile, which is often a tactic used to hide discomfort. As Driver said, it is the type of smile shown when someone is feeling emasculated and vulnerable, as a defense mechanism to overcome the pain that they are going through.
Behavioral analyst Susan Constantine also revealed a couple of findings after analyzing their courtroom behavior. She claimed that as Depp was speaking about his substance abuse, his body expression showed embarrassment and vulnerability. This type of behavior is often associated with someone who is a survivor.
However, opinions vary. After Heard’s claim that Depp put his fist through a wall in a fit of anger, Depp joked that at this point, that would not be possible. He went on with a story on how he had a previous finger injury – one resulted after Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him, cutting his finger.
However, Dr. Hughes noted that before telling the story, Depp took a big pause – which he found slightly concerning. Still, his emotions during the storytelling process seemed to be “honest and raw.”
Can Body Language Be Used in a Courtroom?
Very often, body language can be used against you in the courtroom, just like regular words would. In Milwaukee, for instance, it is common to bring a behavior analyst to court, to record behavior that may be analyzed at a later point. This is why most Milwaukee trial lawyers advise their clients to not get “too excited” or act too much on their feelings as they are testifying.
Body language may not be used as definite proof, but it may affect how the jury is treating you. Moreover, if your body language is suspicious, this may lead to further research on the parties, which can eventually add more evidence.
The Bottom Line
We cannot say for sure who is in the right here. But we know that not even two actors are fully able to hide their body language in the courtroom. Based on this type of non-verbal language, both may or may not be guilty of the charge; the truth may be revealed later on.