Former TMZ journalist gives damning testimony in Depp case – before sparring with Heard’s lawyer

A former entertainment journalist who worked on assignments related to Amber Heard has given damning testimony in court that… Johnny Depp defamation casebefore sparring with Amber Heard’s lawyer.

Morgan Tremaine, who worked for entertainment site TMZ in 2016 used to send paparazzi to various locations based on “tips”.

WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: TMZ journo testifies in Depp case

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Tremaine told the court that tips had been received through a tip line or directly from news producers in the office.

He said tips were also received “very often” from sources.

Often those sources are publicists, executives, agents, “B-list celebrities” or lawyers, he said.

Morgan Tremaine, a former employee of the news organization TMZ, testified. Credit: Evelyn HocksteinAP

Tremaine testified that tips would be verified through an “elaborate process” if they came in through the tip line.

The site should verify who sent it and if the source was truthful.

The sender would have to fill out a form with their contact information to help with this, Tremaine said.

He said verifying a tip typically takes “a while” when it comes through the tip line, as additional checks were required.

†[It took time] if it was media such as photos or videos that would have to be extensively verified to ensure that the person sending it is the copyright holder and that we have the legal ability to broadcast and distribute it,” Tremaine said.

Actor Amber Heard listens in court.
Actor Amber Heard listens in court. Credit: Evelyn HocksteinAP

Amber Heard and the ‘bruise’

On May 27, 2016, Tremaine recalled working on an assignment related to Heard.

“Miss Heard filed a restraining order at a courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, so I sent cameramen to that location,” he testified.

He said cameras would only be sent in such a way if the site was “notified in advance”.

“It’s by no means a celebrity hot spot. We would only send people there if we were tipped off that something was up and someone was there,” Tremaine told the court.

“We tried to capture Amber as she exited the courthouse and an alleged bruise on the right side of her face,” he said of that day’s assignment.

Under questioning by Camille Vasquez, Depp’s lawyer, Tremaine said the goal that day was “to capture her.” [Heard] exit the courthouse and then she would, sort of, stop and turn to the camera to show the bruise on the right side of her face.”

Tremaine said his team of videographers captured that footage of Heard.

He told the court that the order came from a news producer that day and that it meant “they verified that tip and it was credible”.

Johnny Depp cabinet video

On August 12, 2016, Tremaine said: TMZ received a video of Depp “slamming some closets,” which was captured by Heard.

“The video was submitted through our email tip line, an email distribution that goes to all producers and to myself as the field job manager, as it often included celebrity locations,” Tremaine told the court.

“I received that email and it contained a link from an unknown dropbox-like website.

Actor Johnny Depp testifies.
Actor Johnny Depp testifies. Credit: Evelyn HocksteinAP

“In that link was the video of Johnny Depp smashing the cabinets,” Tremaine said.

The former reporter said the video was subsequently downloaded and he was instructed to add a translucent watermark to it, “indicating copyright ownership.”

Then the video was posted on the TMZ website.

Tremaine testified that the time it took to publish a video normally depended on the copyright owner.

“The only way to obtain copyright on media would be if we shot it ourselves, if it was sent to the tip line, verified to belong to the original copyright owner and then either bought from that person or given to us was given and then would be the third option if given to us directly by the copyright holder, such as a direct source,” Tremaine said.

He said Depp’s video was posted about 15 minutes after he got the email about it.

Tremaine said the version of the video he received was shorter than the one played in court.

He said that part that Heard showed at the end of the video was “not present” in the video he received.

TMZ did not edit the video, Tremaine testified.

Elaine Bredehoft and Morgan Tremaine face each other in court.
Elaine Bredehoft and Morgan Tremaine face each other in court. Credit: CourtTV

During a cross-examination, Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft told Tremaine, “It gives you your 15 minutes of fame, doesn’t it?”

Tremaine laughed before answering.

“This is of no use to me,” he said.

“I’m actually kind of targeting myself” TMZa very controversial organization, and I’m not looking for 15 minutes here.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Morgan Tremaine spars with Amber Heard’s lawyer

TMZ journo spars with Amber Heard attorney.

TMZ journo spars with Amber Heard attorney.

‘You are free to speculate. I could say the same about taking Amber Heard as a customer for you.”

“A bit argumentative, don’t you think?” Bredehoft responded.

‘Hardly, I think that makes perfect sense, thank you,’ Tremaine retorted.

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