Johnny Depp's wife cops good behavior bond as Australia ends 'war on terrier'

Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:54am EDT
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By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian court let off the actress wife of Hollywood star Johnny Depp with a good behavior bond on Monday after she pleaded guilty to falsifying travel documents to sneak two pet dogs into the country.

Depp accompanied his wife, Amber Heard, for the hearing at a packed courthouse in the Southport magistrates court, near where he had been shooting a "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel when the scandal erupted last year.

Bringing an end to what the Australian media had gleefully dubbed the "war on terrier", a magistrate filed no conviction for Heard but issued a formal order to stay out of trouble for a month or face a A$1,000 ($767) fine.

Heard, 29, had faced charges of illegally importing animals after authorities accused the couple of flying their Yorkshire Terriers, Pistol and Boo, into the country without going through proper quarantine procedures.

But on Monday, the court learned that state prosecutors agreed to drop those charges when Heard pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of lying on an incoming passenger form when entering the country to visit Depp on set last year.

For the A-list couple, the result is a reassuringly un-Hollywood ending to their brush with Australia's notoriously tough quarantine laws.

The original charges against Heard carried a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of A$10,000.

The ruling also drew a line under the unlikely diplomatic tangle between the celebrity pair and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who in his capacity as farm minister threatened to have the dogs put down if Depp and Heard did not remove them.   Continued...

Actor Johnny Depp (R) and wife Amber Heard arrive at the Southport Magistrates Court on Australia's Gold Coast, April 18, 2016.    REUTERS/Dave Hunt/AAP