As Amber Heard’s high-profile defamation trial with Johnny Depp continues, the screen star is facing another potential legal battle in Australia.
While still married to Depp, Heard navigated a court battle with Australian authorities for taking the couple’s pet dogs into the country in May 2015 without declaring them. The trial concluded with Heard avoiding conviction.
In a taped apology, Heard said she was “truly sorry” for not declaring terriers, Pistol and Boo, when she entered Australia—which is known for its strict quarantine laws. Foreign pets must be quarantined for 10 days when first brought into the country.
However, a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) told Newsweek on Wednesday that investigations are ongoing over allegations that Heard lied under oath.
The DAWE representative said that the department was continuing to look into “allegations of perjury by Ms. Heard during court proceedings for the 2015 illegal importation of (her) two dogs into Australia.”
Newsweek has contacted a representative of Heard for comment.
Heard had been charged with making a false statement on her immigration card. The Magic Mike XXL star checked “no” to the question of importing anything into the country that ought to have been declared.
She said it was a misunderstanding as she had assumed her husband’s assistants had arranged the terriers’ passage into the country, where Depp had been shooting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The perjury investigation was initially revealed in October 2021, with a representative for DAWE telling E! News that “the department is seeking to obtain witness statements and once obtained, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will consider whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant pursuance of the matter.”
An attorney for Heard criticized the investigation, telling the outlet at the time: “It is truly inconceivable, and we are confident it is not true, that either the Australian Government, or the FBI, would embrace a policy of further pursuing and victimizing a person who has already been adjudicated to be the victim of domestic violence.”
Heard pleaded guilty in court but magistrate Bernadette Callaghan gave the actor, accompanied to the Queensland hearing by Depp, a $1,000 one-month good behavior bond with no recorded conviction.
She had previously avoided two charges for illegal importation, and Depp and Heard apologized in a video shown in court at the time. However, Depp later mocked the video while promoting one of his films in the U.K. in 2016.
Heard filed for divorce from Depp in 2016 and their union was officially dissolved at the start of 2017.
She accused Depp of domestic abuse during their divorce proceedings in 2016.
Depp lost his 2020 libel case against British tabloid The Sun, which had called the Pirates of the Caribbean star a “wife-beater,” in reference to Heard’s allegations.
While Depp had repeatedly denied ever having been violent to Heard during the three-week trial in London, a judge found that The Sun‘s claims that the Kentucky-born actor was abusive to Heard were “substantially true.”
The two are now back in court after Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-end Heard wrote for The Washington Post, in which she said that she was a domestic abuse survivor.
While Heard did not name Depp in the article, his lawyers have argued that it was clear she was referring to the actor. Heard is countersuing for $100 million for nuisance.
The trial is set to resume on May 16 following a weeklong break due to a previously scheduled engagement for Judge Penney Azcarate.
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