Gwyneth Paltrow's Nervous Court Appearance Analyzed By A Body Language Expert

Fatima Araos
Closeup of Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken up in her trial over a skiing accident. The Oscar-winning actress, 50, responded to claims by Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist, that she crashed into him on the slope, causing fractures and a brain injury.

A Body Language Expert Weighs In

Now, body language expert Judi James is weighing in with an analysis of Paltrow’s appearance and behavior.

'Demure And Dour Outfit'

James spoke to Daily Mail about the Shakespeare in Love star’s Friday appearance in court, saying that she seemed to have chosen “her most demure and dour outfit yet” so as not to look flashy.

What She Wore

Paltrow came to court that day wearing a black knit top, a navy skirt, and chunky $1,200 boots by Celine. Moments earlier, she had worn the outfit with a coat and Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses outside.

She Looked Tense

The expert also noted that she looked a little tense as she made her way to her seat and “threw some wary-looking glances around the room.”


Gwyneth Paltrow in a gray suit
Flickr | 1000Girls

James detected a slight tremble in her lower lip, which she interpreted as “anxiety.” However, her demeanor became more relaxed once she was seated next to her lawyers.

What She Did Once Seated

The analyst added that after fixing her hair, “she spread her folder out in front of her, licking the tip of her finger to turn the pages in a professional and authoritative-looking manner.”

'Head-Teacher-Ish Authority'

Closeup of Gwyneth Paltrow
Flickr | imdtopost

When she took the stand and wore her reading glasses, the expert described it as having “that look of almost head-teacher-ish authority.”

Proud Of Her Married Name

Closeup of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk
Flickr | Kartia Velino

James also took note of how Paltrow said her married name. She emphasized “Falchuk” and seemed very proud of it.

She Looked Like A Schoolchild

Gwyneth Paltrow in a black leather coat
Flickr | fit118

While she looked like a headteacher moments earlier, she now seemed “more like a schoolchild” as she swung in her chair.

Proud Of Her Maiden Name, Too

Gwyneth Paltrow in a beige cape
Flickr | imdtopost

However, she also “looked positively delighted when the judge asked if he could call her Miss Paltrow,” the body language analyst said. She replied, “Sure,” in a “good-natured” way.

Feeling The Stress

Of course, there were times when the Goop founder was obviously feeling the stress of the trial.

Rapid Blinking

Gwyneth Paltrow posing in a black blazer
Flickr | steven 117

“When she was in listening mode her eyes would sometimes look tired and her blink rate rapid, suggesting tension,” James said.

She Believes She's The Victim

The analyst opined that Paltrow really believed she was the victim in the accident. This was evident towards the end of her testimony when she was describing what happened on the slope.

She Mimed The Accident

Gwyneth Paltrow posing in a white blouse and floral mini skirt
Flickr | 1000Girls

“She was miming or role-playing moments of the collision as she was speaking,” James said. “She mimed her own initial confusion, widening her eyes and shaking her head from side to side.”

Details Of The Accident

The accident happened in 2016 at Utah's Deer Valley Resort. According to Sanderson, Paltrow crashed into him from behind as he was skiing downhill.

Seeking $300,000

$100 bills
Unsplash | Celyn Kang

The collision left him with four broken ribs, a concussion, and brain damage. He filed a civil suit and is seeking $300,000 in damages.

She Denied The Accusation

Gwyneth Paltrow in a bronze mini dress
Flickr | steven 117

However, the Royal Tenenbaums actress emphatically denied his version of the story, saying that it was Sanderson who hit her from behind.

Her Version

She also revealed that she initially thought it was a sexual assault because his skis had slid between her legs and his body had pressed against hers.

Her Children And Husband Will Testify

Gwyneth Paltrow with her children
Flickr | sanketkhateek

Paltrow had been skiing with her two children from her first marriage, Apple and Moses Martin. The two are set to testify on Monday, along with her current husband, Brad Falchuk.