Publicist plays down report of Johnny Depp storming off Pirates set

SYDNEY (AFP) - A publicist for the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean movie on Thursday denied reports that Johnny Depp had stormed off the Australian set to be with his wife Amber Heard in the United States.

The superstar has been shooting scenes as swashbuckling Captain Jack Sparrow on the Gold Coast tourist strip in Queensland state, but the Gold Coast Bulletin said he walked out on Wednesday, his marriage reportedly in trouble.

"He's going back to the States on the first available private charter flight he can get on," the newspaper cited a source on the production team of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales as saying.

The newspaper claimed Depp and his wife of three months, Heard, were constantly bickering, but a publicist for the movie, Michael Singer, said the claims were untrue.

"I can't go into detail on our filming schedules or the movements of individuals but I can tell you that nothing in that report has any relation to reality," Singer told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Mr Depp has been filming on schedule. It's business as usual, with all participants working."

Heard is believed to have returned to the US last week with the couple's two dogs Boo and Pistol, which were forced out of the country after officials warned they would be destroyed because they had entered without authorisation.

The couple had brought the terriers into Australia on their private jet without going through quarantine procedures, and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told them to "bugger off" back to Hollywood, sparking a social media frenzy.

The Bulletin said Deep had initially been scheduled to return with them but changed his plans at the 11th hour after the film's producers intervened.

If he had left, it would be another blow to the Disney movie, which is already behind schedule after he suffered a hand injury and returned to the US to recover in March.