The photo caption in a recent New York Times article stated the following:
"Artist rendering. This is not a photo of Johnny Depp with his best friend who is a lizard!"
I believe that the writer wished to communicate that Johnny Depp is not best friends with a lizard and that the image included in the article is an artist's rendering, not a photo. However, the caption makes it sound like it's true that Johnny Depp's best friend is a lizard, but false that the image in the article is a photo of them together. Is the original caption correct? If not, is there a grammatical way of concisely expressing the intended meaning in a single sentence?
Ignoring the fact that the first two words are not a complete sentence, I considered:
"Artist rendering. This is not a photo of Johnny Depp with his best friend who is not a lizard!"
However, this seems confusing and still implies that the best friend exists (and is simply of a non-lizard species), which is not necessarily true. What is the appropriate way to negate the untrue parts of the sentence?