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Novak Djokovic one of a LONG list of celebrities Australia warred with

Novak Djokovic is just the latest in a VERY long line of celebrities who’ve gone to war with Australia – from Eminem and Snoop Dogg to Johnny Depp and even Frank Sinatra

  • Novak Djokovic successfully had visa cancellation overturned by federal court
  • He joins long list of high-profile faces to have trouble with Australian officials 
  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard illegally imported their dogs into the country 
  • Eminem faced opposition from John Howard’s government over 2001 tour
  • Frank Sinatra became public enemy number one after tour in 1974
  • Joe Cocker was deported after drug possession and alleged assault of girlfriend 

Novak Djokovic’s battle with border officials is just the latest in a long line of clashes between international celebrities and the Australian government.

The Serbian tennis champion succeeded in overturning his visa cancellation in court, but immigration authorities are still deciding whether to deport the 20-time grand slam winner.

His is the most recent in a string of controversies involving the biggest names in film, entertainment and sport, including Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Eminem and even Frank Sinatra.

Here Daily Mail Australia takes a look at the A-listers who’ve fallen afoul of the authorities while Down Under.

Novak Djokovic won an initial legal battle to overturn his visa cancellation, but immigration authorities are still deciding whether to continue the deportation process against the 20-time grand slam winner

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp were involved in a bitter legal fight with Australian authorities after illegally bringing their two yorkshire terriers into the country in 2015

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Amber Heard arrived in Australia in April 2015 on a private jet to join Johnny Depp who was shooting the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie in Queensland, bringing along their two beloved Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo. 

Heard failed to declare the dogs to custom officials upon arriving in Australia, a serious offence in the country given its strict biosecurity laws.

Pistol and Boo’s presence was only brought to the attention of Australian authorities when a dog groomer posted a picture of the famous pets, triggering a months-long battle between the Hollywood stars, border officials and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Mr Joyce became heavily involved in the process, starting a war of words with the couple through the media that even saw him threatening to euthanise the dogs if they weren’t removed.

Pistol and Boo’s presence was only brought to the attention of Australian authorities when a dog groomer posted a picture of the famous pets

‘If we start letting movie stars, even though they have been the sexiest man alive twice, to come into our nation then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?’ he said.

‘It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States. He can put them on the same chartered jet he flew out on to fly them back out of our nation.’

Heard then appeared on Sunrise, admitting they would be looking to ‘avoid the land Down Under from now on’, saying the Nationals leader was looking for his ’15 minutes’ of fame.

The dogs were eventually taken out of Australia and Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing Pistol and Boo into Australia and one count of producing a false document.

The case was dropped after Depp and Heard appeared in a now infamous video promoting Australia’s biosecurity laws that was likened to a ‘hostage video’.

The case was dropped by Australian officials after Depp and Heard appeared in a now infamous video promoting Australia’s biosecurity laws that was likened to a ‘hostage video’

‘Australia is a wonderful island, with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people,’ Heard says in the video.

‘It has to be protected,’ Depp adds.

The pair continued touching on Australia’s unique people and wildlife, before apologising for their wrongdoing.  

‘I am truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared. Protecting Australia is important,’ Heard said. 

Depp appeared on Jimmy Kimmel in May, 2016 following the release of the video, offering a final insult directed at Mr Joyce.

‘He looks somehow like an inbred with a tomato,’ he joked. 

Eminem faced political objection to a 2001 tour after members of John Howard’s Liberal Party said he faced a risk to the youth of Australia


In 2001 Eminem was the biggest musical artist in the world – fresh off his Academy Award-winning film 8 Mile and having just launched his acclaimed No.1 hit Lose Yourself – but not everyone was a fan.

When tour organisers planned a countrywide tour for the rapper, a prominent member of then-Prime Minister John Howard’s Liberal Party requested the Detroit native be banned from entering the country.

Peter Slipper, now a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said allowing Eminem to enter the country would be harmful to Australia’s youth.  

‘There is no way the Australian government should allow those who prey on the disenchanted and disillusioned youth of Australia to visit our country and promote a culture of drugs, violence and foul language,’ Mr Slipper said in a statement

Mr Howard said he wouldn’t block Eminem from arriving because it wasn’t his decision, but did offer his own concerns over the ‘sickening and offensive’ lyrics of his songs.

In turn, Eminem would not appear in Australia for another 10 years, reportedly because of the treatment by officials.

Eminem would not appear in Australia for another 10 years, making reference to John Howard in the 2011 return

Snoop Dogg

The famous rapper turned movie star and cooking show host has found himself in hot water with a number of countries upon attempting to enter through the years – and Australia is no different.

In 2007, Snoop Dogg pleaded no contest to felony, gun and drug charges in a Los Angeles court, and as a result was placed on probation for five years.

He attempted to enter Australia later that year to perform a series of concerts including being the headliner at the Australian MTV Video Music Awards, something that was quickly blocked by then-Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews. 

Snoop Dogg (pictured with Sophie Monk) was barred from entering Australia in 2007 after pleading no contest to a series of drug and weapons charges in Los Angeles

‘He has a whole string of convictions. He doesn’t seem the sort of bloke we want in this country,’ Mr Andrews said in a radio interview.

MTV executives attempted to help overturn the decision but Snoop was denied entry under ‘character grounds’. 

‘He was warned last time he was here that any further transgression could lead to him not being allowed back in,’ Mr Andrews said.

He is currently planning a 2022 Australian tour. 

Frank Sinatra battled the Australian media during his infamous 1974 tour of the country

Frank Sinatra

In one of the lesser known stories involving one of entertainment’s biggest ever stars, Frank Sinatra had his own tussle with Australia during a tour in 1974.

Sinatra once said ‘there are three best places for musicians: Los Angeles, London, and Sydney’, but a newspaper drew his ire after posting a picture of the singer with a series of women, accompanied with the headline ‘Sinatra’s Molls’.

Journalists mobbed Sinatra upon his arrival in Melbourne after furore erupted over the front page story, leading him to lash out on stage.

‘They keep chasing after us. We have to run all day long. They’re parasites who take everything and give nothing,’  he said while performing at Festival Hall. 

‘And as for the broads who work for the press, they’re the hookers of the press. I might offer them a buck and a half, I’m not sure.’

Sinatra fled to Sydney following the cancellation of his Melbourne shows, only for future PM Bob Hawke to intervene and help resolve the situation

His words only intensified the storm, with organisers cancelling his second Melbourne concert and the airport banning his private jet from using Tullamarine Airport.

He flew back to Sydney on a commercial plane and locked himself inside his hotel room for three days as hundreds of international media surrounded the building.

Bob Hawke, the then-Australian Council of Trade Unions president and soon to be prime minister, sensationally arrived at his room to help broker a deal.

Sinatra refused to apologise for the words, but Mr Hawke successfully negotiated a carefully worded statement that saw the singer admit his ‘regrets’ over the incident.

He would leave the country shortly after, saying in an interview after arriving back in the USA that his love affair with the nation was over.  

‘A funny thing happened in Australia. I made one mistake. I got off the plane,’ he said.

Tyler, the Creator

In 2013, a grassroots campaign from Collective Shout objected to Tyler, the Creator appearing in Australia because of lyrics that objectified women.  

The group racked up thousands of supporters for its petittion that called for his shows to be cancelled and visa to be blocked by the immigration department. 

‘Tyler the Creator has received widespread media attention over the span of his career for misogynistic hate speech against women, as well as homophobia,’ the petition read. 

‘He is renowned for his songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women, including murder, genital mutilation, stuffing them into car boots, trapping them in his basement, raping their corpses and burying their bodies.’ 

The artist responded to the petition by calling one of its female sponsors a ‘f***ing bitch’ and a ‘f***ing whore’.

In a Twitter post, Tyler announced he had been banned from entering Australia and congratulated Collective Shout director of operations Coralie Alison for ‘winning’. 

Tyler, who has said Melbourne is his favourite city in the world, was then subsequently banned from entering the UK under similar circumstances.

Tyler, the Creator was banned from Australia and the UK for several years from 2013 because of campaigns against his objectification of women in his lyrics

He took to social media to object to the decisions from both countries.

‘What about the people who will make music in the next five years? Are they gonna get banned? Why don’t they ban authors?’ he said.

‘Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed – why don’t they ban them? 

‘There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England. And then you’re telling me I can’t come there because of some bulls**t song, but you got motherf***ers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?’ 

He has since been allowed to tour in both countries. 

Joe Cocker is arrested in Adelaide in 1972 after being caught in possession of marijuana

Joe Cocker

Blues legend Joe Cocker was infamously deported from Australia during a raucous 1972 tour that saw the singer arrested twice on drug and assault incidents.

Cocker and five members of his entourage were caught in possession of marijuana while performing in Adelaide, spending hours behind bars before each paying $300 and being released on bail.

He reportedly was asked during a search if he had any weed, with Cocker replying to the officer ‘there’s some around here somewhere’.

The British singer continued the tour despite labelling Australian officials ‘uncouth, dirty-haired, sloppily dressed, show business freaks’ and blaming his troubles on their poor political approval ratings.

He was met with front page headlines in Melbourne reading ‘GET OUT COCKER’, but continued the show, telling his audience the people in charge were hypocrites. 

‘In five years marijuana will be legalised in Australia, and the same cat who is trying to throw us out now will be smoking it himself,’ he said.

However, following that show he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in the lobby of the Chateau Commodore Hotel. 

Joe Cocker leaves the Chateau Commodore Hotel in Melbourne facing charges of assaulting his girlfriend Eileen Webster (the pair fled Australia hours later)

The immigration mininster at the time, Jim Forbes, told Cocker the rest of his tour would be cancelled and he had four hours to leave the country.

‘We had to cancel concerts in Brisbane and Perth. Prodded by a deportation order, Joe flew home,’ his tour promoter Harry Miller wrote in his 1983 biography. 

‘His legal transgressions could not be excused, but he had the misfortune to be in Australia when the conservative knee-jerk was lethal and the federal government of the time was reacting to an electorate disillusioned with its political performance.’ 

Prime Mininster Jim McMahon was under immense pressure for sending Cocker away admist the drama, but he reportedly was uninterested because he thought his fans were all Labor supporters.

His daughter famously said it was the worst moment of his career.  

 ‘Like any self-obsessed teenager, it’s probably the only thing I remember about my father’s political career,’ she told The Guardian.

‘I was so mortified that my dad had done this.’ 

Cocker said that he had later been told that the stunt was all done to take the attention off Mr McMahon’s growing disatisfaction among the Australian population. 

‘The Australians actually owned up that they set us up,’ Cocker said in 2013.

 ‘Somebody wrote a book a few years ago saying it was a government thing, an election thing – we were just used as guinea pigs. 

‘But at the time it was real scary to be down in Australia. You didn’t have that communication thing you do nowadays.’ 

Milo Yiannopoulos rose to infamy in Australia due to extreme views on Muslims, feminism, social justice and PC culture before his ban in 2019

Milo Yiannopoulos

The British alt-right firebrand saw a tumultuous two-year relationship with Australia end in being banned after ‘appalling’ comments about the victims of the Christchurch mass shooting.

Milo Yiannopoulos rose to infamy in Australia in 2016 due to extreme views on Muslims, feminism, social justice and PC culture.

He joined forces with prominent right-wing voices in the country including Andrew Bolt and Mark Latham on a series of sold-out talks in 2017, some which devolved into chaos.

Left and right wing supporters clashed outside one of his Melbourne shows, with seven people arrested and thousands of dollars of damage caused.

Yiannopoulos was banned from Australia in 2019 after his ‘appalling’ comments on the Christchurch mosque shootings

Following the Christchurch mosque shootings in March of 2019 that saw 51 innocent people slaughtered, Yiannopoulos labelled Islam a ‘barbaric, alien’ religion, leading to Australia’s then-Immigration Minister David Coleman to bar him from re-entering.

‘Yiannopoulos’ comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,’ Mr Coleman said.

‘The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practising their religion.

‘Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act.’

The far-right provocateur bragged about the ban on social media, labelling himself as the victim.

‘I’m banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence,’ he posted to Twitter. 

He is now working on a Christian YouTube channel selling religious statues.                

Novak Djokovic is set to play in next week’s Australian Open after winning an initial legal battle to overturn his cancelled visa

Novak Djokovic  

The world’s number one ranked tennis player was detained by Australian immigration officials upon arrival at Melbourne Airport last Wednesday night and his life has been in limbo ever since in a case that has made headlines around the world. 

Djokovic’s visa for Australia was cancelled due to an apparent issue with his Covid vaccination exemption, and he was held in a cheap hotel under an immigration detention order while he waited for his appeal to be held on Monday.

Then after five days of chaotic bureaucracy and finger pointing between the Australian federal government, the Victorian state government, the Serbian government and Tennis Australia, a court overturned the cancellation of his visa.

Djokovic was watching the court proceedings from his lawyer’s office when Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the 34-year-old to be freed from detention at Melbourne’s Park Hotel by no later than 5.46pm. 

Judge Kelly quashed the decision to tear up Djokovic’s visa and ordered that all his personal belongings be returned, saying: ‘What more could this man have done?’ 

After days of uncertainty, the tennis legend broke his silence over the Australian government’s failed attempt to cancel his visa, saying he still wants to compete at the Australian Open next week. 

‘I’m pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete,’ he said on Twitter, alongside a picture of himself practicing late on Monday night. ‘I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans.’   

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