Johnny Depp can’t keep his name out of the papers.
The longtime “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor has been accused of lying to Australian authorities when he claimed to have accidentally smuggled his dogs into the country, former business managers allege.
The Management Group (TMG) claimed that the 54-year-old actor was “fully aware that he was illegally bringing his dogs to Australia” when he was filming for one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies in May 2015, People magazine reported over the weekend, citing legal documents it obtained. The filing is part of a court battle between Depp and his former managers. Depp says they bilked millions of dollars from him, while the managers claim Depp spent too much money and couldn’t pay off his debts.
“Depp falsely claimed to authorities and in public press interviews that the incident was a big misunderstanding because he supposedly believed his staff had obtained the necessary paperwork,” TMG said in the filing, People reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce chimed in on the matter, saying the actor may have “perjured himself” if the allegations turned out to be true, the Herald Sun reported on Monday. “Obviously Mr Depp is back in the news for a number of things but the only thing that’s concerning me is that if the allegations that have been made against him are correct, and I’m not saying if they are or aren’t, then that would be perjury,” he told the paper.
According to People, TMG said that Depp tried to “[pressure] one of his long-term employees to ‘take the fall'” for the Australian dog fracas.
The new report comes just days after controversy erupted over Depp’s comment about President Donald Trump, when he asked a Glastonbury crowd: “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
The White House criticized the statement and Depp issued an apology, saying it was a poorly timed joke. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone,” the actor said in a statement.
Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard were forced to record a bizarre PSA-style video that emerged last April.
Depp wasn’t ever charged in the incident. Heard faced a possible 10-year jail sentence for importing the dogs. She pleaded guilty to providing false documentation. “When you disrespect Australian law,” Depp says in the clip video, “they will tell you firmly.”
“Australia has very strict biosecurity laws to protect the health of our people, animals and plants,” a description from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture says. “Everyone entering the country must truthfully declare if they are carrying any items listed on the Incoming Passenger Card. Ms Amber Heard appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland on 18 April 2016 to answer charges alleging the illegal importation of her two dogs into Australia in April 2015.”