In April, the trial between actors Johnny Depp (58) and Amber Heard (36) began, and so far both parties have given their explanations in the witness box.
The trial has created a great deal of engagement outside the courtroom, and among other things, Depp’s spokesperson claims that Heard’s testimony was “the performance of her life”. Heard’s team has strongly disagreed with the allegations.
Now body language expert and former police investigator Vidar Hansen himself has come up with an analysis of the actors’ behavior in court
Watch the video below of the trial briefly explained
Considerations for their profession
Hansen tells Good Evening Norway that there is a difference between Depp and Heard’s body language and the way they express themselves.
– Depp appears more calm and controlled and has a lot of self-confidence. His explanation is relatively detailed. Heard appears more restless, and gives shorter answers with less details, Hansen says.
– She sometimes has problems putting words to certain events. Thus, her explanation can at times seem a bit messy.
Hansen points out, however, that it is important to take into account that both are actors and are used to adapting to different roles. They have also in all probability prepared well before the trial.
Heard’s body language
Hansen has studied many victims who have explained themselves in court about both physical and mental abuse. He says that almost everyone has almost the same way of explaining themselves.
– They look down at the floor, talk in a low tone, cry, hiccup and wipe away tears. The whole face is almost in “dissolution” of crying and you also gradually see red and swollen eyes. They rarely look at either the perpetrator or others, the expert says.
According to Hansen’s analysis, Heard does the opposite of what he has experienced. He points out she is looking up at the jury, moves her head in large movements and raises her voice.
– She has a lot of facial expressions that show more anger than sadness. You can sometimes see that she “spots” teeth and her eyebrows contract, which indicates aggression.
Watch the video below by Amber Heard which tells about the first time Depp allegedly beat her.
– Heard’s reactions in the witness box are usually seen right after someone has experienced something dramatic and frightening. Then the person is high up and the body is full of adrenaline. But these events happened several years ago, says Hansen.
Heard has repeatedly shed tears in court. Hansen believes, however, that one can conclude that this is not real gray.
According to the expert, the area around the eyes is a good indicator of stress, anxiety and restlessness. You then usually see tension around the eyes before the rest of the facial muscles react.
– By studying the videos of Heard, there is abnormally little unconscious contraction around the eyes while she is emotional, Hansen says.
He also highlights, among other things, the lack of tears, redness and swelling around the eyes. In addition, Hansen says that our most emotional muscle is in the chin. The muscle compresses when we are crying, and leads to “orange peel”.
– This happens completely unconsciously and is difficult to falsify. Based on Heard’s explanation, this muscle is almost not activated at all when she cries, says the body language expert.
Depp in court
Hansen says that Depp seemed worried when he took the witness box in the beginning, and messed with the words when he talked about Heard. But according to Hansen, beyond the trial he has gained more self-confidence and has joked, smiled and laughed.
– Depp appears more credible than Heard with the way he expresses himself. His body language matches the words he says, and he speaks calmly and in a controlled manner. He also answers the questions in detail, says the expert.
However, he is unsure whether joking and laughing in such a case is positive for the jury. He points out that it can be problematic that Depp has received a lot of positive reviews and has many fans who support him.
– One of the biggest pitfalls we can fall into is being biased, what is called bias. When you first believe in something, you seek the answer in the direction you believe in, and you can easily avoid being objective, Hansen explains.
He says that it is important to keep your tongue straight in your mouth when reading body language and not be influenced by external factors, but stick to the facts. For example, he points out an argument that is used in Depp’s favor.
– It is claimed that he has not shown violent tendencies before, but this can still not be emphasized. It is possible that Amber Heard has evoked emotions in him that he has not known before that can lead to violence and aggression, Hansen says.