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The body language pose that women use to warn rivals off their men

When U.S supercop Bill Bratton and wife Rikki were pictured in The Mail on Sunday last week, her elegantly manicured fingers were lightly – but oh so firmly – resting upon her handsome husband’s torso.

And a little research reveals that in almost every photograph taken of the couple, TV personality Rikki has adopted a similar pose.

Bill is the charismatic policeman credited with reversing America’s crime epidemic – and the fact that Rikki is his fourth wife is perhaps a clue to the significance of her sub-conscious hand signals.

Because body-language expert Judi James says the pose is classically adopted by women everywhere to send a hands-off gesture to any rivals who may be interested in their man.

‘This is a possessive barrier gesture,’ explains James. ‘Although it is a sign of affection, principally it is a signal to other females, who may be potential rivals.

‘Basically, what the woman is communicating to others is, “I’ve got him – hands off.” ’

It’s a tactic that doesn’t work with all men, warns James. So The Mail on Sunday set about finding the stars who use the hands-off hand signal to most effect with surprising results.

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