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Who is Dr. Richard Gilbert? Hand surgeon claims Johnny Depp's finger injury was caused by a 'sharp laceration', labels Amber Heard's description as 'highly unlikely'

Dr. Richard Gilbert and Johnny Depp in the trial (Image via richardsgilbertmd.com, and Evelyn Hockstein/AFP/Getty Images)
Dr. Richard Gilbert and Johnny Depp in the trial (Image via richardsgilbertmd.com, and Evelyn Hockstein/AFP/Getty Images)
Abhirup Sengupta

On Thursday, May 26, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Gilbert was called in to testify as Johnny Depp's rebuttal witness regarding his 2015 hand injury, where he lost the tip of his finger. The doctor somewhat backed Depp's claims when he stated that it would have been possible for Depp to sustain the injury from a vodka bottle allegedly thrown at him.

It must be noted that Gilbert did not treat Depp for his injury but reviewed the medical reports pertaining to the actor's fingertip. On being asked whether Depp sustained the injury in a way he had previously described, the orthopedic surgeon replied:

"I do believe so."
@LawCrimeNetwork A motion is made to enter Dr. Gilbert as an expert witness.Dr. Gilbert: There was a fracture on the tip of [Depp's] finger ... So this is some type of blunt force, with a high mechanism of injury. #JohnnyDeppVsAmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork https://t.co/V2moWKV6nc

Previously, Dr. David Kulber, who had treated the Pirates of the Caribbean star, did not clearly specify his assessment about the origin of Johnny Depp's injury. However, another orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Moore testified on May 23 that Depp's story of being crushed by a vodka bottle was 'inconsistent' with the medical reports.


What did Dr. Richard Gilbert say about Johnny Depp's finger injury?

WATCH: Dr. Gilbert testifies he believes Depp could have sustained the fingertip injury via a smashed vodka bottle. He also testifies Depp could not have sustained the injury in the way Heard described.#JohnnyDeppVsAmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork https://t.co/Vd6FdrmZ5D

In his testimony at the trial, Dr. Gilbert expressed how he believed the possibility of Johnny Depp's injury to be caused by an alleged vodka bottle thrown at him. He further added that in his opinion the injury was caused by a "sharp laceration." According to the surgeon:

"I certainly believe that a vodka bottle, thrown from a distance against a hand that was resting on a marble bar, is more than sufficient force to result in this fracture and soft tissue loss."

Dr. Gilbert further added that since the injury was caused by blunt force trauma, Johnny Depp's account of the incident may be how it actually happened. He said:

"There was a fracture on the tip of (Depp's) finger ... So this is some type of blunt force, with a high mechanism of injury."

Later in the testimony, Dr. Richard Gilbert addressed Amber Heard's account of how the injury was sustained. The doctor said that it was 'unlikely' that the 58-year-old actor suffered the injury in a way that was previously described in Heard's testimony. Previously in the trial, Amber Heard had claimed that Johnny Depp injured his fingertip when he punched a telephone on a wall. However, the New York-based orthopedic surgeon contended that the injury was inconsistent with what Heard described.

Dr. Gilbert explained that punching a hard surface would have resulted in the injury of the nail or the nail bed. However, as per the medical records, Johnny Depp's nail was not affected. Near the conclusion of his statement, the doctor also said that "no one can definitely say how (the) injury occurred."


What is known about Dr. Richard Gilbert, who seemingly backed Johnny Depp's claims about his 2015 fingertip injury?

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Dr. Richard Gilbert is an orthopedic surgeon based out of Great Neck, New York, specializing in surgery of hands and upper extremities. The doctor is currently associated with Syosset Hospital, where he serves as the Chief of the Hand Service. He is also the Director of the Hand Service at the Peconic Bay Medical Center and the Director at the Northwell Health. According to his website, he is also an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

On his website, he mentioned:

"My specialty interest is in the treatment and reconstruction of fractures, soft tissue injuries, and neuropathies involving the hand and upper extremity. I employ both traditional and the most advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopic carpal tunnel release, minimally invasive fracture repair, and small joint arthroscopy."

The board-certified surgeon earned his MD Degree from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. Dr. Gilbert has also been recognized as one of the "Best Doctors" from 2014 to 2022 by the New York Magazine. Meanwhile, The New York Times recognized him as one of the "Super Doctors" from 2013 till date.


Edited by Babylona Bora

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