The FBI is working with the Australian government, helping them find out if Amber Heard committed perjury during her testimony in court over an incident involving her dogs. During the case in question, she smuggled two dogs, her two teacup Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, into Australia in 2015.
She brought the dogs into the country on a private jet in May 2015. Depp was filming the fifth installation of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
The incident happened around the time Depp lost part of his middle finger.
Authorities demanded that the pet dogs be taken out of the country or euthanized since the government has strict regulations about bringing cats and dogs into Australia. The country is very serious about biosecurity threats.
The procedure required to import dogs and cats into the country can be found on the country's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.
The United States is classified as a "category 3" country. This means cat or dog imports should be accompanied by a valid permit. The animals should also undergo 10 days of quarantine and get examined by a veterinarian approved by the government.
As the incident gained worldwide attention, Depp had the dogs flown back to the United States.
In July 2015, Heard was charged with illegally importing the dogs. In April 2016, she pleaded guilty to falsifying travel documents, which is a lesser charge.
She also recorded a video with Depp, apologizing for what had happened. The actress blamed jet lag and lack of adequate sleep for the mistake.
Still, Kevin Murphy, Depp's former estate manager, told a completely different story during Depp's libel suit against The Sun in 2020.
According to media reports, Murphy had informed Heard that she could not take the dogs to Australia since proper paperwork had not been completed. He had also informed her that arrangements had not been made to have the dogs quarantined.
Murphy also testified, saying that Heard had wished that her former assistant, Kate James, would accept blame for the lies she put on the forms. Heard did not declare the pet dogs in the documents.
During the trial in the UK, Heard blamed Depp. She claimed that he had told her to send an email to get a veterinarian "to grease." According to sources, it would have been absurd for Depp to do that.
Bobby Chacon, a retired FBI agent, and lawyer claims there is nothing unusual about the FBI helping a foreign government with an investigation of this kind.
The FBI has an office in Canberra, Australia, and agents are permanently assigned to the country on a rotating basis. These agents have many roles, including liaising and assisting Australians if they need something from the United States.
According to Australian authorities, the witnesses involved in the case "all live overseas."
An FBI spokesperson looking into Heard's conduct told the media that Australia's Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment was looking into allegations of perjury on Heard's part during her trial concerning the illegal importation of the two dogs into the country.
The spokesperson also said that further comments were impossible since the issue was still under investigation.
Australian senator, Glenn Sterle, was furious that Heard had not faced any charges. This was apparent during an Australian Senate committee hearing in October 2021.
He pointed out that the matter had been investigated for over a year.
"How can it take 12 months? We know the evidence that was there. In there came the celebrities that thought they were above Australia's biosecurity laws?"
Sterle then asked if he needed to have a Senate inquiry into the issue.
Andrew Metcalfe, Australia's Director of Biosecurity, responded to Sterle, saying that all those involved in the case live overseas, which meant that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the prosecutors were relying on "foreign collaborating bodies."
The Chair of the National Biosecurity Committee, Andrew Tongue, also spoke about the ongoing investigation. He pointed out that the only way they would get a conviction would be by working with their partners at the AFP, the director of public prosecutions, and their international partners:
"As much as we might want to pursue this matter, we have to go in the queue behind all the other matters that those organizations are dealing with and our international partners are dealing with . . . we're pursuing the matter, and we don't intend to go away on it."
In the defamation trial in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2022, Heard's lawyer, Camille Vasquez, tried to ask about the dog incident in Australia, but Heard's lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, objected. A brief sidebar later, the topic was never brought up again during the trial.
Generally, the FBI never comments on active investigations. Therefore, no further information is available about Heard's perjury investigation.