A Russian actor is poised to sue a dental clinic after a visit that gave him an “almost Hollywood smile” also left him with a career-threatening lisp. The clinic has denied the allegation and vowed to sue him for slander.
“I told them that I am a drama actor and my mouth is my professional tool, so be careful and gentle while treating it,” 32-year-old actor Sevastyan Melnichuk recalled of his encounter with the dental clinic, in the Urals city of Kurgan, where he came to fill a cavity.
Once the effect of the anesthetic wore off, he suspected something had gone terribly wrong, as he could no longer clench his jaws or properly chew hard foods.
The actor rushed back to the clinic, but it agreed to fix only one of his teeth, prompting him to go to another clinic to fix the lisp.
“My diction used to be polished to perfection, but the lisp didn’t go away the next morning,” the actor said.
The lisp might ultimately end his career, as the director of a theater where he performed at has already found a replacement for a role that Melnichuk had been rehearsing for six months.
“I haven’t been fired yet, but I know someone’s going to come and tell me that either I fix my diction this summer or go away,” he told E1 website.
The speech defect has also hampered Melnichuk from getting new roles elsewhere.
“Even during a casting for a programmer’s role in a film they asked me, ‘Are you high? Why are you lisping that much?’” Melnichuk said.
Melnichuk is now seeking justice and plans to sue the clinic demanding reimbursement, as well as damages for “physical and moral suffering.”
To back up his complaints he recorded a video, showing his slight lisp and inability to utter hissing sounds, which he filed along with his complaint and footage of his previous performance in theater.
The clinic denied all the allegations, claiming that the doctors performed professionally, while the lisp problems might have been caused by receiving treatment in another clinic, which caused Melnichuk’s bite to change.
“We’ll sue him for slander. There was no trial in court, no expertise, he went to another clinic. We simply want to protect ourselves from this patient,” the chief dentist of the clinic told local media.