Australian deputy PM wants to charge Johnny Depp with perjury over 'Terriergate'

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
Depp… could face perjury charges, if Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce gets his way – Credit: AFP

The nightmare of ‘terriergate’ – in which Johnny Depp was forced to apologise for taking two Yorkshire terriers into Australia in 2015 without the proper documentation – may not be over.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is accusing the actor of committing perjury, following reports that he knew what he was doing was illegal and pressured one of his staff to ‘take the fall’.

The incident occurred while Depp was filming ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ on Australia’s Gold Coast in May 2015, when he and his then-wife Amber Heard brought their dogs Pistol and Boo into the country on a private jet, circumventing Australia’s strict quarantine laws.

Joyce, who was Minister for Agriculture at the time, threatened Depp’s dogs with euthanasia, Depp and Heard with prosecution, and famously demanded that ‘Pistol and Boo bugger off back to the United States’.

However, a new twist in the tale has emerged in Depp’s current and on-going lawsuit with his management company.

It’s been claimed that Depp, rather than believing that it was an honest mistake and that his staff had acquired to the correct paperwork, was instead aware of the situation.

Documents filed by The Management Group, who Depp is locked in a dispute with over alleged financial mismanagement, claim that the actor was ‘fully aware that he was illegally bringing his dogs to Australia’.

“Depp falsely claimed to authorities and in public press interviews that the incident was a big misunderstanding because he supposedly believed his staff had obtained the necessary paperwork,” the papers, released to People magazine, claim.

It’s then further claimed by TMG that Depp then ‘pressured one of his long-term employees to take the fall.’

(Credit: AAP)

Hearing about the claims, Joyce told ABC News in Australia: “If the allegation is correct, there is a word for that – it is called perjury. That is another question that, if that was true, Mr Depp would have to answer for.

“It doesn’t matter if you think that you’re Mr Who’s Who of Hollywood, you’re going to obey our laws.”

In the end, Heard and Depp were forced to make a bizarre televised apology over the incident, also dubbed ‘the War on Terrier’ in the Australian press, while Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying documents and was given a $1000 fine.

However, Depp has traded barbs with Joyce since, describing him as looking ‘like an inbred tomato’ in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

“It’s not a criticism. I was a little worried he might explode,” Depp added.

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