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Johnny Depp’s Wife Avoids Dog Smuggling Charge

  • VOA News

In this image made from video released by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on Monday, April 18, 2016, actor Johnny Depp and his wife, Amber Heard speak in a videotaped apology played during Monday's hearing at the So

In this image made from video released by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on Monday, April 18, 2016, actor Johnny Depp and his wife, Amber Heard speak in a videotaped apology played during Monday's hearing at the So

Actor Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard will not be going to jail over charges she illegally brought two dogs to Australia last year.

Instead she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of providing a false immigration document.

The so-called “war on terrier” started when the couple arrived in Australia with their Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo. Depp was working on the fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

Heard could have faced up to 10 years in prison had she been found guilty of importing the dogs. Bringing pets into Australia requires obtaining a permit and putting the animal into quarantine for at least 10 days so officials can make sure it’s not carrying an infectious disease like rabies. Instead, she will face about a $770 fine if she breaks an Australian law in the next month.

The couple submitted a videotaped apology to the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland.

“When you disrespect Australian law,” Depp said in the video speaking in an awkward, subdued tone, “they will tell you firmly.”

The saga began last May when Barnaby Joyce, Australia’s Agriculture Minister, accused the couple of smuggling the dogs into the country.

“If we start letting movie stars — even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice — to come into our nation (with pets), then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?” Joyce said in May. “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”

The couple was given three days to send the dogs back to the U.S. or officials would euthanize the dogs. They left hours before the deadline.

After posting the apology video, Joyce talked with reporters.

“I am happy that Ms. Heard has admitted that she was wrong and as such, that clearly shows that our position in pursuit of this was correct,” he said. “Every nation has something that they’re red hot about, and we’re red hot about our biosecurity requirements in this nation.”

Here's the video:

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