Johnny Depp urges respect for Australian laws amid ‘war on terriers’

Hollywood star Johnny Depp says that Australians are unique, both warm and direct


Hollywood star Johnny Depp (center) and wife Amber Heard (left) arrive at the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast, Australia, on Monday. Photo: AP/PTI
Hollywood star Johnny Depp (center) and wife Amber Heard (left) arrive at the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast, Australia, on Monday. Photo: AP/PTI

Canberra: Film star Johnny Depp and his wife have urged travellers to heed Australia’s strict quarantine laws as a legal spat over the couple’s dogs being brought into the country without the correct paperwork drew to a close.

Depp and Amber Heard recorded a video statement expressing remorse that Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, accompanied them on a private jet last year as the Hollywood star arrived in Australia to film the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The couple at the time drew fire from Australia’s agriculture minister and local media have dubbed the spat the “war on terriers.”

Australians are “unique, both warm and direct,” Depp said in the video statement released by the department of agriculture on Monday. “If you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly.”

Heard was given a one-month good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded after pleading guilty in a Queensland court to making a false statement on quarantine documents, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Two charges of illegal importation of an animal were dropped, the broadcaster said.

Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, who has since become Australia’s deputy prime minister, captured global headlines last year when he threatened to euthanize the dogs and said they shouldn’t be exempt from quarantine laws just because Depp had been voted “the Sexiest Man Alive twice.” Depp later labelled Joyce “some kind of sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia.”

Joyce defended the court action on Monday, saying Australia’s strict quarantine laws are necessary to protect the nation’s unique flora and fauna.

“Every nation has something that it’s red hot about and Australia is red hot about bio-security,” he said. “This nation takes its bio-security incredibly seriously.” Bloomberg