As Johnny Depp‘s legal battle with his former managers continues, embarrassing new details have emerged in the form of court documents, claiming he knew all along that he was breaching Aussie bio-security laws by bringing his two dogs into the country.
Depp’s Teacup Yorkshire Terriers Pistol and Boo – the innocent victims in all of this – were the subject of a media frenzy in 2015, when it was discovered via a Facebook photo that they had been smuggled into Australia, bypassing quarantine.
Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce gleefully latched onto his time in the spotlight and ordered the dogs to “bugger off” back to the US or be euthanised, and Depp ultimately had to star in a grovelling apology video to promote Australian bio-security.
Throughout the whole saga, Depp maintained that the issue of the dogs was a big misunderstanding, and that he was unaware of strict quarantine rules, but a court filing by The Management Group claims otherwise.
The filing in question, obtained by People, claims that Depp was “fully aware that he was illegally bringing his dogs to Australia” when he arrived in the country to shoot the fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.
According to the filing, “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 go on to claim that, when the story about the smuggled pups broke in Australia, Depp “pressured one of his long-term employees to ‘take the fall’” for the pooches.
Depp’s then-wife Amber Heard ultimately ended up taking the blame, and in April of 2016, appeared before a Gold Coast court where she plead guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, escaping with a good-behaviour bond and a $1000 fine.
In the wake of the incident, Depp mocked the agriculture minister on U.S. television, calling him Barnaby Jones and saying that he looked “somehow inbred with a tomato.”
The actor has not commented on these latest allegations.