Amber Heard: I’m Pleading Not Guilty To Dog Smuggling Charges In Australia
Amber Heard will return to Australia next year to fight charges that she allegedly smuggled her two dogs into the country. The model and actress wife of Johnny Depp said in a statement on Monday that her lawyer will plead not guilty on her behalf.
Heard was charged last July with two counts of illegally importing animals into the country and one count of producing a false document to quarantine officials. If convicted on all charges, she faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to 112,000 Australian dollars ($81,600).
“My decision to defend these charges, as will become apparent in the appropriate forum of the Court, is not intended to in any way diminish the importance of Australia’s laws,” said Heard in the statement. She also declared that she would not be commenting further on the case.
As Gossip Cop reported, Heard was accused of bringing her two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, into Australia last May on a private jet without declaring them beforehand. She was there to visit Depp, who was shooting the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
The dogs were considered to be a risk because the U.S. is not classified as a rabies-free country. Australia requires any tourists intending to bring dogs there to apply for a permit and quarantine well before arriving Down Under.
As Gossip Cop previously noted, Australia’s Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, threatened to euthanize both dogs if they weren’t brought back to the U.S. within 72 hours. The over-the-top reaction prompted a mocking #WarOnTerrier hashtag on social media, but the dogs were sent back stateside before the deadline.
It’s unclear whether Depp will also be present for the trial next year. Gossip Cop will continue to update.