The legal battle between former Hollywood couple, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard — who met on the set of The Rum Diary (2011) — will not see any form of closure until next year when the defamation lawsuit has its day in court. Amid the court case controversies, which saw Heard repeatedly appealing for the suit to be thrown out, the actress is now being investigated in an FBI-backed probe over her potential perjury for a 2015 incident.
According to a new report, actress Amber Heard, best known for starring in director James Wan’s Aquaman (2018) and the upcoming sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022), is being probed by Australian officials with the support of the FBI as they track down witnesses in the United States of America.
Back in 2015, Heard faced controversy when she brought her two dogs, Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo, into Australia without submitting the required paperwork for the correct entry into the country. Blaming her misstep on a lack of sleep and then issuing an apology, Heard avoided any biosecurity charges, and prison time, she could have faced.
However, as the report states, Australian officials have now reopened the inquiry after claims made at her ex-husband’s, actor Johnny Depp’s, libel lawsuit against the British tabloid, The Sun, News Group Newspapers, and editor, Dan Wootton, last year after being called a “wife-beater”.
Judge Andrew Nicol sided with The Sun when the court found that Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse were substantially true and the Pirates of the Caribbean star subsequently lost his appeal earlier this year despite support from ex-wife Vanessa Paradis and actress Winona Ryder.
During the libel trial, the incident with Heard’s dogs was revisited with this new report now revealing:
Depp’s former estate manager Kevin Murphy raised eyebrows Down Under when he told the London court that Heard had ordered him to lie on oath after she flew the pets into Queensland in a private jet without declaring them.
At the trial Murphy said:
“I also explained to Ms. Heard several times the fact that trying to take the dogs into Australia without completing the mandatory process was illegal and could result in very harsh penalties including euthanizing the dogs.”
The report goes on to exclusively reveal that “the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment responded by quietly reopening a criminal probe and enlisting the help of the FBI to track down witnesses in the US.”
Heard was initially facing charges of illegal importation and a potential 10-year jail sentence when she brought her terriers to Australia to meet Depp during filming for Pirates of the Caribbean. The animals should have been declared and then quarantined upon arrival but when Heard’s lawyer stated that the paperwork had slipped through the cracks, the magistrate accepted Heard’s apology and confirmed that she believed the actress had not attempted to deceive Australian authorities.
The case was resolved in 2016 at the Southport Magistrates Court in the Gold Coast after Heard’s apology and claim of lack of sleep. But, with this new criminal probe, officials are now allegedly interviewing witnesses relating to the new statements. As the report states:
One of those, Murphy, has now been interviewed at length by Australian investigators and has provided a lengthy witness statement and a trove of emails allegedly implicating Heard.
Sources close to the investigation believe she could be weeks away from being hit with charges of perjury or subornation of perjury, which involves inducing someone to provide false testimony.
It’s not yet known how this new allegation against Heard will play out for her career. The actress is back as Mera alongside Jason Mamoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman) in the DC Extended Universe Aquaman sequel next year despite #FireAmberHeard and #JusticeForJohnnyDepp often trending on social media from Depp fans. Amid the lawsuit controversy, producer Peter Safran said earlier this year that the domestic violence allegation from her ex-husband held no weight when casting Heard to return as Mera.
Depp, however, lost his role in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise, JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts, when Warner Bros. asked him to resign from the next installment where he would return as the evil wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. Mads Mikkelsen will now portray Dumbeldore’s nemesis.
As for the defamation case, Depp’s lawyer will go to court against Heard’s team in Fairfax County, Virginia, next year amid LAPD and charity controversies relating to the divorce settlement and Depp’s claims, as well as a result of Heard’s OpEd in The Washington Post in 2018.
After repeated attempts to get Depp’s defamation suit thrown out of court, Judge Penney Azcarate sided with the Captain Jack Sparrow actor. She stated that the issue surrounding Heard’s claim that the libel case result in London should make the current suit void holds no weight for this specific case as it is being held in a different country and surrounding different circumstances.
What are your thoughts on the 2015 incident? Let us know in the comments down below