Johnny Depp has seemingly labelled Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce "some kind of sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia" at a press conference in Italy.
The Hollywood star was meant to be promoting his new movie, Black Mass, at the Venice Film Festival.
But when a journalist asked if he'd like to take his dogs on a gondola ride through Venice's canals, Depp used the opportunity to give Joyce a whack (without mentioning his name).
This was despite a panicked minder trying to shut down the question by blurting: "I'm not certain that's appropriate."
"No," Depp said, shutting down his minder instead.
"I killed my dogs. And ate them. Under direct orders from some kind of sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia."
The feud between the Pirates of the Caribbean star and the Abbott government minister began in May this year.
Joyce was outraged Depp had flown his dogs, Pistol and Boo, into Australia on his private jet — failing to declare them to quarantine. In a doorstop interview outside Parliament House, the rural MP then threatened to have the animals seized by government officials and given a lethal injection.
"If we start letting movie stars — even though they've been [voted] the Sexiest Man Alive twice — to come into our nation, then why don't we just break the laws for everybody?" he asked.
"It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."
And in a radio interview, Joyce insisted: "If he doesn't take Boo and Pistol back, we do have to euthanise them."
This was deemed to be in poor taste by shock jock Kyle Sandilands, who confronted the Member for New England on his Kiis FM breakfast show.
"You sound like an absolute clown telling the guy to bugger off back to Hollywood or we'll kill his dogs," Sandilands thundered.
"You sound like an idiot.
"You're a government minister, not some idiot off the street mouthing off to a news camera. Have some decency."
Sandilands also branded him a "wanker", a "fool", a "loser", a "ponce", and a "gerbil of a thing".
All of which was then deemed to be in poor taste by Joyce, who asked the broadcasting watchdog to censure the Sydney host.
In its complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Joyce's office argued the interview "contained language and behaviour that is outside the acceptable standards and norms of robust political debate and common decency in public broadcasting."
ACMA did not agree, saying it accepts that listeners are familiar with Sandilands' confrontational style and that "the broadcast did not treat Mr Joyce in a highly exploitative manner".
"What do you need to say to a person before it's beyond the pale?" Joyce then complained to the ABC's PM program.
"If that's all OK then what could possibly be not OK?"
Inevitably, this saga has attracted the attention of Last Week Tonight host John Oliver — way back in May.
"I've got to say, that's pretty ballsy: elected officials very rarely risk openly telling puppies to go f--- themselves," Oliver told viewers of the popular HBO program.
"He's not wrong to be angry. The problem is, he quickly started to lose the moral high ground," he added, cutting to a clip of Joyce saying, "We're going to have to euthanise them ... he's now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs".
"He gave them a death countdown!" Oliver exclaimed.
This clip has been viewed almost 1.2 million times on YouTube.
The story Johnny Depp pokes fun at Barnaby Joyce over dogs saga first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.