(Canberra) Australian prosecutors have dropped a possible case against American actress Amber Heard over allegations that she lied to a court about how her dogs were smuggled into Australia eight years ago.

Heard and her then-husband Johnny Depp were embroiled in a high-profile biosecurity controversy in 2015 when she brought her pets to Australia’s Gold Coast, where Depp was filming the fifth film in the Pirates series. of the Caribbean.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, a biosecurity watchdog, said the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to prosecute Heard, 37, for allegedly feigning ignoring the country’s strict quarantine regulations.

The department had been investigating discrepancies between what her lawyer told an Australian court in 2016 – when she admitted to smuggling the dogs illegally – and testimony in a London court in 2020 when Depp, today The 60-year-old was suing The Sun newspaper for defamation in connection with allegations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife.

Heard had pleaded guilty in 2016 at Southport Magistrates’ Court in Australia to providing a false immigration document when the couple brought the dogs to Australia on a chartered plane a year earlier.

Prosecutors had dropped more serious charges that Heard illegally imported the dogs – which carried a potential sentence of ten years in prison.

The false documents charge carried a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of more than 10,000 Australian dollars (C$8,760). Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan instead sentenced Heard to a one-month good behavior bond, under which she would only have to pay a fine of AU$1,000 (C$876) if she committed an offense in Australia at course of the following month.

Amber Heard’s lawyer, Jeremy Kirk, told the court that his client never intended to lie on her passenger card by failing to declare that she had animals with her. In truth, he said, she was simply suffering from jet lag and assuming that her assistants had sorted out the paperwork.

But a former Depp employee, Kevin Murphy, claimed in the High Court in London in 2020 that Heard had been repeatedly warned that she was not allowed to bring dogs to Australia. But she reportedly insisted, and then pressured a staff member to take responsibility for breaking quarantine laws.

When the dogs were discovered in May 2015, Depp and Heard met the government’s 50-hour deadline to bring them back to the United States.