Johnny Depp and Amber Heard snored and schmoozed their way, respectively, out of some major trouble. The Australian justice system does not put up with any shenanigans from international visitors, including cute little dogs like Boo and Pistol.
A video apology was extracted from the couple before they entered the courtroom. Heard, at least, was awake during the proceedings.
Depp and Heard, who were slammed with media from the moment they arrived at the Southport Magistrates Court, may have used their notoriety to help get them out of the scrape.
CourierMail said that the Hollywood couple was surrounded by cameras and reporters, and that the courtroom itself was jam packed, in the Down-Under Version Of The Trial — or maybe the Tail — of the Century.
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) April 18, 2016
All the fuss was about a couple of little Yorkshire terriers named Pistol and Boo. Last May, Heard sneaked the dogs into the country while Depp was at work filming Pirates of the Caribbean.
It turns out that Australia takes its quarantine laws very seriously. Penalties may include ten years in jail, and/or fines of up to $77,000.
The dogs went to visit a Gold Coast groomer, and the gig was up: Someone squealed.
Pistol and Boo were ordered by Agriculture Minister (now elevated to Prime Minister) Barnaby Joyce to “bugger off” out of the country, and given ten days to do it, or he might just have the pups euthanized.
As this Inquisitr article explains, the incident became known as the “War On Terrier” when it sparked international headlines. Media attention included Depp’s bemused visit with Jimmy Kimmel.
Meanwhile, Amber was ordered to return to Australia on April 18 and face Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan. She was charged with two counts of breaching quarantine laws and producing false documents.
Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying documents, but not to smuggling the dogs.
Prosecutor Peter Callaghan told the judge that Heard was required ‘like any other person’ to fill out a passenger card.
But under the section which asked whether they were bringing anything, including animals, Heard had written ‘no’.
“She acknowledges this was false.”
Amber Heard ELBOWS her snoozing husband Johnny Depp in court as she pleads guilty to falsifying documents https://t.co/0DW39O7OJ1
— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) April 18, 2016
Heard admitted that she had made a mistake.
But, she said, taking care of the dog’s paperwork was usually the job of her “husband’s people.” She therefore couldn’t be held responsible for what she didn’t know.
She said she did not remember writing “no” on the form.
She did not set out to deceive anyone, she said.
Heard’s defense attorney, Jeremy Kirk said she had nothing to gain from marking ‘no’ on the animal question. It had only caused “a world of pain would be opened up as indeed it has been.”
“It was a tired, terrible mistake. She knew she was bringing in animals.”
Then, as Courier Mail describes, the defense whipped out its arsenal of Hollywood glamour.
“Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have starred in a video apology over the war on terriers scandal, urging people to respect Australia’s biosecurity laws.
“In the video, played to a packed Gold Coast courtroom, the glamour couple speak of their respect for Australia as a wonderful country.
“Depp warns that ‘when you disrespect Australian laws they will confront you directly’.
“‘Declare everything when you enter Australia,’ he says.
“In the video, which runs for less than a minute, Heard says Australia is ‘a wonderful island that has to be protected.’
“Depp says Australia is a unique country and ‘Australians are unique too, warm and direct’.”
Judge Callaghan adjourned the court in order to review the case and hand down her decision after 2.30 p.m.
Following two hours of deliberation, Amber Heard was sentenced to a $1000 ‘good behavior’ bond over falsifying an Australian immigration document.
No conviction was recorded.
[Photo by Dave Hunt/AP]