Former TMZ Employee Clapped Back at Attorney for Amber Heard: ‘You’re Welcome to Speculate’
In a surprising twist for those paying attention to Johnny Depp‘s defamation trial, a former employee of TMZ took the stand in rebuttal to shine a new light on Amber Heard. He delivered testimony suggesting that Depp’s ex-wife was cozy with the outlet while negotiating a divorce settlement.
But Heard’s attorney accused that witness of stepping forward for a chance at fame. And his response was an immediate sensation with internet trial watchers.
Former TMZ employee suggested Amber Heard was supplying the outlet with information around the time of her divorce
When Morgan Tremaine took the stand, he came to testify about the relationship between TMZ and Heard around 2016. He worked as a field assignment manager and oversaw the dispatching of paparazzi. He often worked directly with celebrity teams to capture “candid” photos.
Tremaine claimed he sent photographers to the courthouse in May 2016 when Heard filed for a temporary restraining order against Depp. According to his testimony, he received that information through a verified tip, which meant it likely came from someone in her camp.
“Their objective was to capture her leaving the courthouse and she was going to stop and turn toward the camera and display the bruise,” he recalled.
Tremaine also talked about authenticating videos sent to TMZ, which involved verification with the footage owner. This was important because they now own the copyright to the video of an angry Depp smashing cabinets and cursing in his kitchen. That video originated on one of Heard’s devices.
But Tremaine said parts of the video had been edited out when sent to the outlet. He claimed he hadn’t seen the beginning and end played in court. Notably, those parts featured the Aquaman actor.
All of that added up to the implication, but not proof, that Heard sent the video to TMZ for publication. And she might have done that after editing herself out.
TMZ staffer seeking 15 minutes of fame?
Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft took the podium to question Tremaine following his testimony. And one of her suggestions was that he had only appeared in court for the chance to be on television.
“You know this case is being televised, right?” Bredehoft asked Tremaine before suggesting, “So this gets you your 15 minutes of fame, doesn’t it?”
But Tremaine didn’t shrink from the accusatory statement. “I stand to gain nothing from this. I’m actually putting myself in the target of TMZ, a very litigious organization, and I’m not seeking any 15 minutes here,” he assured the court.
Tremaine added Bredehoft was “welcome to speculate” and noted, “I can say the same thing [about] taking Amber Heard as a client for you.”
Attorneys for TMZ and Amber Heard tried to block former employee’s testimony
Before Tremaine ever took the stand, a lawyer representing TMZ argued to the judge why it shouldn’t be allowed. They filed a court order to intervene based on the assumption Tremaine would reveal their source.
But Judge Penny Azcarate decided to move forward with Tremaine’s testimony under their objection. Notably, he never testified that the Zombieland actor or any specific person leaked information to TMZ, in those words. His testimony was that the outlet received verified tips from someone close to her according to the company’s practices.
Later, Heard testified she was unaware the press would be at the courthouse when she filed for a restraining order. But she confessed she brought her publicist just in case they were. She also asserted she did not leak anything to TMZ or know anything of anyone else doing so.
Depp and Heard both accuse each other of domestic violence and defamation. He sued her for $50 million in damages to his career, and she counterclaimed $100 million in damages.