War on terriers: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard issue bizarre video apology over dogs

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have released a toe-curlingly awkward video to apologise for Heard illegally bringing the couple's dogs into Australia last year.

The pair looked contrite as they sat side by side to they explain how Australia is "free of many pests and diseases around the world" which is why it needs "such strong bio-diversity laws".

Heard, 29, had previously pleaded guilty to falsely claiming she had no animals with her when she arrived in Brisbane in a private jet from the US last April, despite being accompanied by the couple's Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo.

The 39 second clip, which aired in a Gold Coast court today, marked the culmination of the case dubbed "the war on terriers", which has been the country's highest profile criminal quarantine case to date. All charges against Heard were dropped.

Amber Heard with Pistol

Amber Heard with Pistol

During the scripted video, Heard admitted she was "truly sorry" for not declaring the animals and stated that protecting Australia was "important".

Depp, 52, appeared to be in agreement, describing Australians as "warm and direct" before he added that "if you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly".

The video ends with Depp requesting that all future visitors to the country "declare everything".

According to Heard's lawyer, the script for the video was given prior approval by commonwealth prosecutors and created with the hope of "achieving some public good" by emphasising Australia's biosecurity laws.

Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan told The Guardian the video was "of far more benefit to this country" than a conviction against Heard as it could work to put off potential illegal importers in future.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp on the red carpet earlier this year

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp on the red carpet earlier this year

Heard had initially faced a potential 10 year prison sentence if charged with illegally importing animals, but was instead given a one month good behaviour bond and a charge of $1,000.

Speaking to reporters outside of the court, Australia's deputy prime minister and minister for agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said all countries had their "particular nuances" and that “Every nation has something its red-hot about, and we’re red-hot about biosecurity requirements in this nation."

When asked about the video, he responded, "I don’t think it is something they would have willingly wanted to do."

The video is now the property of the federal Department of Agriculture and could one day be shown on planes arriving in Australia.


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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