Depp departs Australia to escape quarantine quagmire
Johnny Depp, Hollywood superstar and Australia's most high-profile alleged quarantine criminal, has left the country.
The 51-year-old actor and his wife Amber Heard left the Gold Coast's Coolangatta Airport by private jet on Monday night after becoming embroiled in controversy earlier this month when Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce threatened to euthanase their beloved Yorkshire Terriers Pistol and Boo.
Their departure came as government officials confirmed Depp could face up to 10 years in prison or a maximum fine of $340,000 for bypassing Australia's strict quarantine laws and smuggling the pampered pooches into Australia.
But the publicist for Pirates of the Carribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales, in which Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow, said the departure of the film's star was a long-scheduled break, to enable him to return home for the birthday of his daughter Lily-Rose, who turns 16.
It is unknown how long Depp will be absent from the Gold Coast film set but publicist Michael Singer said filming would carry on without him.