Body language expert says Don Burke denials not convincing

Don Burke asked the Australian public to believe his strident denials of dozens of sexual harassment allegations against him.

But body language expert Sam Cawthorn said the former Burke’s Backyard host didn’t appear convincing in his Monday night A Current Affair interview.

The embattled TV icon admitted he was a terrifying boss, had multiple affairs, and claimed to suffer from Asperger’s, but denied ‘all that sleazy sexual stuff’.

Body language expert Sam Cawthorn said Don Burke didn't appear convincing in his Monday night A Current Affair interview where he denied sexual harassment claims

Body language expert Sam Cawthorn said Don Burke didn't appear convincing in his Monday night A Current Affair interview where he denied sexual harassment claims

Body language expert Sam Cawthorn said Don Burke didn’t appear convincing in his Monday night A Current Affair interview where he denied sexual harassment claims

Mr Cawthorn said Burke was 'very nervous' as he was grilled on dozens of accusations of indecent assault and making lewd comments by Tracy Grimshaw

Mr Cawthorn said Burke was 'very nervous' as he was grilled on dozens of accusations of indecent assault and making lewd comments by Tracy Grimshaw

Mr Cawthorn said Burke was ‘very nervous’ as he was grilled on dozens of accusations of indecent assault and making lewd comments by Tracy Grimshaw

Mr Cawthorn said Burke was ‘very nervous’ as he was grilled on dozens of accusations of indecent assault and making lewd comments by Tracy Grimshaw.

‘You could see him touching his face and using a high-pitched tone and a lot of blinking and stuttering of words,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘He also used a high pitched tone, especially at the end of sentences.’

Mr Cawthorn said another noteworthy thing was how defensive Burke was to every allegation as they were put to him, instead of engaging with questions.

He said Burke frequently touched his face showing how nervous he was in the grilling

He said Burke frequently touched his face showing how nervous he was in the grilling

He said Burke frequently touched his face showing how nervous he was in the grilling

Burke grimaced when Grimshaw began to read out an allegation by Julie Nielsen - before she even got to his alleged lewd comment

Burke grimaced when Grimshaw began to read out an allegation by Julie Nielsen - before she even got to his alleged lewd comment

Burke grimaced when Grimshaw began to read out an allegation by Julie Nielsen – before she even got to his alleged lewd comment

He insisted he was the victim of a ‘witch hunt’ stirred up by the ‘Twittersphere’ and social media and that all his accusers were lying.

‘He came across as very defensive and was looking for ways to defend and react rather than respond to questions,’ Mr Cawthorn said.

Burke also grimaced when Grimshaw began to read out an allegation by Julie Nielsen, who appeared as an interior designer on Burke’s Backyard, – before she even got to his alleged lewd comment.

‘I opened the door and [Burke] stepped inside and said “g’day Jules I bet you’d shock a bad boy. Do you take it up the a**e or what?”‘ Ms Nielsen claimed.

Grimshaw later told KIIS 1065 Burke was ‘a bit shell-shocked’ by the interview and may have expected it to be ‘more sympathetic’ – which may have caught him off-guard.

'Numerous times he was blinking as he said the specific words we needed to hear to be convinced of his denials,' Mr Cawthorn said

'Numerous times he was blinking as he said the specific words we needed to hear to be convinced of his denials,' Mr Cawthorn said

‘Numerous times he was blinking as he said the specific words we needed to hear to be convinced of his denials,’ Mr Cawthorn said

Burke made numerous odd gestures including this when denying comparisons to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein - which Mr Cawthorn said was him deflecting

Burke made numerous odd gestures including this when denying comparisons to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein - which Mr Cawthorn said was him deflecting

Burke made numerous odd gestures including this when denying comparisons to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – which Mr Cawthorn said was him deflecting

The author said Burke’s delivery of his denials was not convincing and betrayed that he was thinking of how to deny accusations instead of remembering incidents.

‘Numerous times he was blinking as he said the specific words we needed to hear to be convinced of his denials,’ he said.

‘This means he was thinking more than actually remembering – he was creating more than accessing memory,’ which Mr Cawthorn said made his denials unconvincing.

Burke repeatedly said he didn’t remember many of the alleged incidents because they were in some cases 30 years ago, and was trying to recall them as he answered.

He also refused to mount a full defence and take his accusers to task because it could harm their mental health.

‘My ethics are such that if people are fragile, and me seeing things could damage other people, I would rather take a dive,’ he said. 

Burke repeatedly said he didn't remember many of the alleged incidents because they were in some cases 30 years ago, and was trying to recall them as he answered

Burke repeatedly said he didn't remember many of the alleged incidents because they were in some cases 30 years ago, and was trying to recall them as he answered

Burke repeatedly said he didn’t remember many of the alleged incidents because they were in some cases 30 years ago, and was trying to recall them as he answered

He insisted he was the victim of a 'witch hunt' stirred up by the 'Twittersphere' and social media and that all his accusers were lying

He insisted he was the victim of a 'witch hunt' stirred up by the 'Twittersphere' and social media and that all his accusers were lying

He insisted he was the victim of a ‘witch hunt’ stirred up by the ‘Twittersphere’ and social media and that all his accusers were lying

However, Grimshaw said Burke gave her ‘more information privately about the alleged ‘grudges’, but insisted it stay off-record.

Mr Cawthorn said Burke frequently deflected from the claims he was facing, such as listing a string of personal ‘failings’ he asked the Australian public to forgive him for.

He also made the bizarre claim he suffered from undiagnosed Asperger’s which made him unable to tell when people wanted him to ‘back off’.

But perhaps his most telling deflection was repeated references to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – both denying a comparison to him and arguing it had stirred up his accusers.

‘I think this whole Harvey Weinstein thing reinforces the victim mentality of women,’ Burke said on ACA – which Mr Cawthorn said did him no favours.

‘To be honest what he said about that will be quite offensive to women,’ he said. 

Grimshaw later told KIIS 1065 Burke was 'a bit shell-shocked' by the interview and may have expected it to be 'more sympathetic' - which may have caught him off-guard

Grimshaw later told KIIS 1065 Burke was 'a bit shell-shocked' by the interview and may have expected it to be 'more sympathetic' - which may have caught him off-guard

Grimshaw later told KIIS 1065 Burke was ‘a bit shell-shocked’ by the interview and may have expected it to be ‘more sympathetic’ – which may have caught him off-guard

For close to two decades Burke was the face of Friday night TV, with millions tuning in to watch Burke’s Backyard which earned him up to $7.2 million a year. 

Now the Order of Australia Medal recipient’s accusers included former researchers, producers, crew members, and TV hopefuls.

They include grabbing multiple women’s breasts and poking one woman’s bottom, and telling an aspiring actress she could audition if she showed up topless. 

He also allegedly tried to take off her bra and top on bus and made her watch a video of a woman having sex with a donkey.

A former crew member also claimed Burke bragged about touching a teenage girl’s nipple three times while showing her how to hold a puppy.

Burke denied every one of the claims on the grounds that they never happened, or weren’t things that he as a person would say or do. 

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