Amber Heard faces another potential legal battle – this time in Australia – just weeks after losing her high-profile defamation lawsuit against her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The 36-year-old actress is the subject of an ‘ongoing’ perjury investigation in connection with legal proceedings arising from her infamous visit to Queensland with Depp in 2015, when she violated Australia’s strict quarantine and biosecurity laws by the former Yorkshire couple. unexplainable. terriers, Pistol and Boo, as she flew into the country.
Heard was charged with two charges of illegally importing the animals in July 2015, but the case was closed when she pleaded guilty to forging travel documents in a Gold Coast court in April 2016.
But the actress’s dog-trafficking saga was revived in October 2021, when it was revealed exclusively by DailyMail.com that Australian officials were investigating Heard for perjury over claims she lied to authorities about the conditions in which her dogs had been imprisoned. country.
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has now confirmed the case is still “ongoing”, telling ET Canada it is “investigating the charges of perjury by Ms Heard during legal proceedings for the 2015 illegal importation of [her] two dogs to Australia’.
Amber Heard (left) faces another legal battle in Australia after losing her libel lawsuit against ex-husband Johnny Depp (right). Pictured in Toronto, Canada, on September 14, 2015
Heard faced two counts of knowingly importing a banned product into the country. (Pictured: the Yorkshire terriers at the center of the incident, Pistol and Boo)
Perjury carries a maximum jail term of 14 years, while the latest offense can lead to a seven-year stretch under the Queensland Penal Code.
The Australian government is unlikely to attempt to extradite Heard, but she could nevertheless be arrested if she tries to re-enter the country.
The department’s perjury investigation stems from testimony given by a former Depp employee during his 2020 UK libel suit against The Sun.
Depp’s former estate manager Kevin Murphy raised eyebrows Down Under when he told a London court that Heard had ordered him to lie under oath after she flew the pets in a private jet to Queensland without reporting them.
Gun and Boo should have been declared at customs and placed in 10-day quarantine, but their arrival went undetected for several weeks until a groomer posted snaps of the cuddly couple on Facebook.
Depp and Heard were given 72 hours to send the dogs home or they would have to be seized and euthanized.
Heard eventually pleaded guilty to the lower charge of forging an immigration document and accepted a $10,000 Australian dollar ($7,650) fine after her attorney, Jeremy Kirk, insisted that the paperwork for the dogs “slipped through the cracks” and that there is ‘no attempt at deception’.
Kirk said Heard thought her then-husband’s staff had filled out the paperwork and were exhausted and sleep deprived when she checked the wrong box on her arrival card.
The Aquaman actress, 36, is the subject of an ‘ongoing’ perjury investigation in Australia over legal proceedings arising from her visit to Queensland with Depp in 2015 when the pair violated Australian biosafety laws by using their Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo not to declare. † (Heard and Depp can be seen out of court on the Gold Coast on April 18, 2016)
Heard was charged twice in July of that year for illegally importing the animals, but the case was closed when she pleaded guilty to falsifying travel documents in April 2016. She and Depp also recorded an apology video (pictured) in which she expressed regret for her actions
Heard and Depp also released a video statement expressing regret for her actions.
The images were widely mocked on social media and some fans said the couple looked like they had been kidnapped and held for ransom.
Heard’s version of events went unchallenged until July 2020, when Depp’s former estate manager told the London High Court in a written statement that he had repeatedly warned the actress about Australia’s strict animal entry rules.
“I have also explained to Ms several times that it is illegal to bring the dogs to Australia without completing the mandatory procedure and could result in very severe penalties, including euthanizing the dogs,” Murphy said.
He went on to allege that when the smuggling controversy erupted, Heard demanded that he submit a “false statement” to the Australian court, saying it was unaware of the requirements.
“When I said I was extremely uncomfortable with this, Mrs. Heard said to me, ‘Well, I want your help with this… I wouldn’t want you to have a problem with your job.’
“It became very clear that Ms Heard was threatening my job stability unless I cooperated in providing a statement supporting her false account of the Australian proceeding.
“This made me feel extreme pressure to cooperate, even though I knew it would be untruth,” adds Murphy, who has worked for Depp for eight years.=
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment said on Tuesday it is “investigating allegations of perjury by Ms Heard during legal proceedings for the 2015 illegal importation of [her] two dogs to Australia.’ The spokesperson confirmed that the matter was “ongoing”. (Pictured: Heard outside a Fairfax, Virginia, court on May 27)
Heard must pay Depp $10.35 million after a US court found she defamed the 59-year-old actor by describing herself as a victim of domestic violence in an op-ed she wrote
Murphy later confirmed to DailyMail.com that the FBI had contacted him and agreed to provide a witness statement to Australian authorities. He declined to comment further.
News of Heard’s pending perjury suit comes just weeks after she was ordered to pay her ex-husband $10.35 million in damages after a Virginia court found she defamed the actor by naming herself in an op-ed. as a survivor of domestic violence published in the Washington Post.
Depp sued Heard, who he was married to from 2015 to 2017, for a piece she wrote in December 2018 in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure who represents domestic violence.”
The jury ruled in favor of Depp on all three of his allegations related to specific statements in the 2018 piece.
The jury found that Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the damages to $350,000 under a state limit.
Heard has said he plans to appeal the verdict.
During Friday’s hearing, the judge said that if Heard appeals, she will have to pay bail for the full amount of US$10.35 million while the appeal is pending – a common practice.
According to the judge’s order, six percent interest per year is payable on both prizes.