From dog fight to divorce: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the set of “Rum Diary,” a 2011 movie based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel. In the film, Depp plays a clumsy journalist in Puerto Rico who immediately becomes infatuated with Heard’s character, the fiancĂ©e of an unscrupulous businessman.

After a series of alcohol-induced blunders, all works out for on-screen Depp and Heard: He comes into his own as a writer, she gets out of her engagement and the two marry and live happily ever after in New York City.

In the real world, however, relationships remain malleable after the leading man gets the leading woman – and if one’s world is Hollywood, the script often ends in divorce.

So it now appears to be the case with Depp, 52, and Heard, 30, who were married for 15 months before Heard – who has also appeared in “Friday Night Lights” and “Magic Mike XXL” – filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court. Originally reported by TMZ and confirmed by the Associated Press on Wednesday, the split resulted from “irreconcilable differences.”

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Heard declared that the pair separated on Sunday, the AP reported. This was just days after the death of Betty Sue Palmer, Depp’s 81-year-old mother with whom he shared a close relationship. (He reportedly has a tattoo of the name “Betty Sue” encircled by a heart on his upper left arm.)

Heard and Depp, who were married on Depp’s private Bahamian island last February, did not have any children together. But as has been well-documented, they did have dogs.

The dogs are Pistol and Boo, two teacup Yorkshire terriers small enough to cradle in the crook of an elbow. As Depp put it on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” this Tuesday, they’re just “minuscule, weird teacup things,” but that hasn’t stopped them from making big headlines.

On a trip to Australia last year while Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” installment, the couple’s canine offspring drew the attention of Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who declared that Pistol and Boo were a health threat to the country because they had not undergone the requisite permit processing and quarantine for animals from abroad.

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“Mr. Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanize them,” Joyce threatened. “He’s now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs. He can put them on the same charter jet he flew out on and fly back out of our nation.”

The drama, dubbed a “war on terrier” in the Australian press, had its day in court last month, when Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying immigration documents to conceal the pets’ entry into the country via private jet. She got off with a one-month good behavior bond, but the punishment could have been far more severe: Heard originally faced charges of illegal importation that carried a possible sentence of 10 years of jail time.

Such biosecurity laws are in place to protect Australia’s distinct flora and fauna. One case of rabies could threaten entire wildlife populations, Joyce told Sunrise, an Australian TV channel.

After Heard’s sentencing, she and Depp then gave a stilted apology speech in a video released by the Australian government. With pained expressions on their faces, the actors stressed the importance of protecting the “wonderful island” that is Australia, with its “treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people.”

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Depp said with a furrowed brow: “And Australians are just as unique – both warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly … declare everything.”

The awkward exchange was at once panned and celebrated back home in America. Many quipped that it was the best performance that Depp had ever given.

On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” this week, however, the actor’s contrition took on an even sharper tone of irony.

“The choice they made to utilize the taxpayer dollars to globally chase down a couple of teacup Yorkies and give them 50 hours to live … I realized the badness of my ways, so I’m kind of repenting,” Depp said.

Then he went on to refer to Joyce as Barnaby “Jones,” commenting that “he looks somehow inbred with a tomato.”

But don’t worry – Depp quickly added: “I’m just saying, it’s not a criticism. I was a little worried, just that, he might explode.”

Joyce seemed almost flattered by the remark, and offered an equally bewildering comparison in turn. “I’m inside (Depp’s) head,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m pulling little strings and pulling little levers. Long after I’ve forgotten about Mr. Depp, he’s remembering me. I’m turning into his Hannibal Lecter.”

But upon hearing of Depp’s divorce on Thursday, Joyce retired his horror film alter-ego.

“In all seriousness, the one thing I will never revel in is any relationship breakdown, no matter what animosity that might be seen on the airwaves between Mr. Depp and myself,” Joyce said at a press conference. “No, I would never ever revel in something like that.”

Sources told TMZ that Depp and Heard did not have a prenuptial agreement. According to AP, she is seeking spousal support.