Johnny Depp’s wife, Amber Heard, hit with dog-smuggling charges over Yorkies’ Aussie adventure
Amber Heard, wife of Johnny Depp, has been charged with dog smuggling in Australia after the couple brought their two Yorkies into the country via private jet.
The charges — two counts of illegally importing the animals and one of producing a false document — came down Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. The document charge is related to allegations that Heard improperly filled out an incoming passenger card.
Pistol and Boo were flown into the state of Queensland, in northeastern Australia, allegedly without proper clearance in April. The Hollywood couple was in the country while Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.
Potential penalties are pretty harsh: up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $63,000 if the maximum sentences were imposed on all three charges.
However, an Aussie attorney told the AP that’s unlikely, given that the couple shipped their pups home inside a 72-hour deadline (under threat of euthanasia) imposed by authorities after the animals’ presence was discovered.
“The seriousness of the offense is not whether two little puppies — who look like they could give you a nasty nip on the ankle — are dreadful animals; it’s about the risk to biosecurity,” Brisbane attorney Bill Potts told the AP. “Was there a risk? Potentially, but not actually. And I’m sure the court will take all of those things into account.”
Australia has a strict policy about bringing animals into the country, requiring a permit and 10-day quarantine aimed at preventing the importation and spread of diseases.
“If we start letting movie stars, even if they’ve been ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ twice, to come into our nation, then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody,” Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce said at the time. “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States. After that, I don’t expect to be invited to the opening of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ ”
Of course, the situation didn’t end with Pistol and Boo jetting home. In June, Heard took a shot at the agriculture minister in a “Magic Mike XXL"-related interview that aired in Australia.
“I have a feeling we’re going to avoid the land Down Under from now on, just as much as we can, thanks to certain politicians there,” she said. “I don’t know, I guess everyone tries to go for their 15 minutes, including some government officials.”
The hosts of the “Sunrise” show were not impressed.
“That’s a bit disappointing,” Samantha Armytage said about Heard’s comments. “She should be more respectful of our quarantine laws.”
Cohost David Koch added his two cents: “Hollywood types. They think they’re a bit above the law.”
The law, incidentally, would like Heard to appear in a Queensland court on Sept. 7.
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