Amber Heard was due in court in Australia today (Sept. 7) to answer charges that she “smuggled” her pet dogs into the country during a visit with husband Johnny Depp. He was filming a new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie there at the time. She was a no-show.
As it turns out, Australia has pretty strict laws about bringing pets into the country.
Heard could face as much as 10 years in prison, according to a review of the law by IM. But penalties that strict are usually reserved for real pet smugglers, who usually traffic in exotic animals.
Heard, 29, was charged with two counts of illegally importing dogs Boo and Pistol, and one count of providing a false document, according to a statement from the Australian Department of Public Prosecutions.
She broke the country’s law when she failed to declare her pets on a customs form.
IM reported exclusively in July that Heard was in no danger of being extradited by the United States government, should Australian authorities issue a warrant for her arrest. Her alleged crimes are not covered by an extradition treaty between the two countries.
Still, authorities could make it difficult for her to travel if they want to make an example of her. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has already declared that movie stars are not above Australia’s laws, according to the BBC.
Apparently Heard didn’t get the message. She was spotted at the Venice Film Festival.Depp, who also was at the festival, joked during a press conference that he killed and ate his dogs. (see video)
Instead of an embarrassing showdown, the case was continued until Nov. 2. Heard can probably get out of hot water by negotiating a plea deal and paying a hefty fine.
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