Heard’s attorney criticized the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s new investigation against the actress.
“The Court of Depp’s choice – the London High Court of Justice – found that Depp committed at least 12 acts of domestic violence against Amber Heard, causing her at times to fear for her life,” the lawyer said in a statement to E! News Saturday, Oct. 30. “It is truly inconceivable, and we are confident it is not true, that either the Australian Government, or the FBI, would embrace a policy of further pursuing and victimizing a person who has already been adjudicated to be the victim of domestic violence. This is especially true where the exact same claims being reported in the press now were made, unsuccessfully, in the UK High Court.”
Depp lost his libel case against News Group Newspapers, whose tabloid The Sun labelled him a “wife beater.” The London High Court judge ruled the actor had repeatedly violently assaulted Heard, as she said he did during their five-year relationship. The actor was later denied an appeal. He has repeatedly denied her accusations and claimed in a separate $50 million defamation lawsuit against her, which is still pending, that she was the abuser in their relationship.
During the proceedings for the libel case, Depp’s former estate manager, Kevin Murphy, testified about Heard’s charges in Australia, saying that the actress asked him to falsely claim that she didn’t know it was illegal to bring the dogs into the country, which has strict animal quarantine laws.
“She wanted me to say essentially that it was my fault in one way or another that the paperwork wasn’t completed, so that I could take the blame for her,” Murphy said, according to the Associated Press.
He also said the actress told him, “I want your help on this. I wouldn’t want you to have a problem with your job.”
When asked by The Sun‘s lawyer why he didn’t ask Depp to intervene, Murphy said, “Because Amber wielded a lot of power and would have made my life miserable,” the news wire reported.
According to The Daily Mail, Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment responded by reopening their new criminal probe and enlisting the help of the FBI to track down witnesses in the U.S. The FBI has not confirmed the report.
The Daily Mail said Australian investigators have already interviewed Murphy and that he provided a lengthy witness statement and a trove of emails allegedly implicating Heard. The outlet quoted sources close to the investigation as saying the actress could be weeks away from being hit with charges of perjury or subornation of perjury, which involves inducing someone to provide false testimony, and could face a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.