Johnny Depp found the “war on terrier” storm over his pet dogs Pistol and Boo being turfed out of Australia “quite humorous”, his friend Mick Doohan said Wednesday.
But the five-time motorcycle racing world champion, in whose mansion Depp stays while on Australia’s Gold Coast, also warned that the attention it sparked was not a good move for the country in terms of attracting big-name stars.
Doohan also commented on recent reports that the actor had fled Australia to “save his marriage” to wife Amber Heard, when he in fact went to celebrate his daughter Lily-Rose’s 16th birthday back in the United States.
“To be honest, I think he thinks it’s quite humorous and how just wanting to leave the country to visit his daughter can be such big news,” Doohan told reporters during a road safety campaign launch in Brisbane.
“He’s a humorous type of guy, I think he’s just disappointed about how it’s been relentless.”
The dog saga made international headlines this month when Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce threatened to have the terriers put down if they were not removed from the country after being smuggled in on Depp’s private jet.
Under strict Australian laws designed to keep disease at bay, dogs entering from the United States have to spend 10 days in quarantine.
Depp, in Queensland state to film Disney movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, whisked them back out of the country amid intense media scrutiny.
Doohan said film stars like Depp will be less likely to come to Australia after the furore surrounding his dogs.
“I think Australia will struggle to get people out here if that’s the way they carry on,” he said.