Heard and Depp go on film for Australian government

Stars record public apology after dog smuggling acquittal.

by Jennie Kermode

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's latest film doesn't show them in the most flattering light. Following a hearing yesterday in Southport Magistrates' Court, Queensland, they were forced to record a public apology for bringing their two Yorkshire terriers, Pistil and Boo, into the country without following proper customs procedures.

Heard plead guilty to filing a false document and was fined AU$1,000, but the court accepted her statement that she had not intended to do wrong and the dogs did not have proper paperwork due to confusion involving which of the couple's staff was responsible for it. Had it not accepted this, she could potentially have been sentenced to ten years in prison. The presiding magistrate, Bernadette Callaghan, said she thought the video would be a far more effective way to send a message to others who might be careless about bringing animals into the country.

Australia is particularly cautious about biosecurity after the release of a single pair of rabbits in 1859 led to an infestation that threatened the country with famine. At one point Pistol ad Boo were threatened with death by lethal injection but arrangements were made to isolate them from other animals at the home of Depp's motorcycle racing champion friend Mick Doohan, and certificates were produced to show that they had been vaccinated against rabies, leading to a reprieve.

Heard and Depp were in Australia for the shooting of the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean film.

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