Johnny Depp threatened with perjury investigation in Australia
Johnny Depp could face a perjury investigation in Australia after his ex-managers alleged he lied about not knowing his dogs were brought into the country illegally.
Depp's then wife Amber Heard escaped conviction in April year (16) after admitting she brought the couple's pet terriers Pistol and Boo into the country with false documentation. She was fined $1,000 (£780).
The actor publicly claimed he did not know the dogs were in Australia illegally, but his former managers Joel and Robert Mandel alleged he was "fully aware" of the issue in court documents filed as part of a $25 million (£19.5 million) legal battle with the star.
Reacting to the new allegation, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce told the country's Herald Sun newspaper that officials would look into whether Depp had perjured himself at any time during the dog smuggling probe.
"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 said.
Depp did not give evidence in court making formal charges unlikely, Australian law expert Bill Potts told the Herald Sun. However Heard could theoretically face perjury charges if it's proved she gave false evidence.
At the time the dog drama was blamed on a member of the couple's staff bungling quarantine paperwork for the dogs.
The 54-year-old actor is suing his former managers the Mandels and their The Management Group company for fraud demanding $25 million in damages after he ran up debts of $40 million (£31.3 million).
In filings related to the case the Mandels alleged the star pressured the employee to take the blame for his dogs' lack of proper documentation.
"Falsely claimed to (the Australian) authorities and in public press interviews that the incident was a big misunderstanding because he supposedly believed his staff had obtained the necessary paperwork," court documents read.
One month after the dog smuggling case concluded, Heard, 31, announced she was divorcing her husband and accused him of behaving violently towards her.
She withdrew the allegations when the estranged couple finalised a divorce settlement in January (17).
The Mandels have repeated the accusations of domestic abuse in their court filings, and have alleged that it was Depp's spendthrift ways rather than mismanagement that racked up his huge debts.
- Cover Media