A former TMZ employee testified that he received a tip off for a photo-op of Amber Heard’s alleged Johnny Depp bruise in 2016.
Depp, 58, is suing ex-wife Heard, 36, in a $50 million (£38.2 million) defamation lawsuit over abuse claims she made in a 2018 article in The Washington Post, although Heard did not specifically mention Depp by name in the op -ed.
Morgan Tremaine, who worked as a field assignment manager, was called up by Depp’s legal team to testify in court.
The manager was in charge of about 20 paparazzi in Los Angeles, Yahoo News reports.
He testified that he was instructed to dispatch photographers to a Los Angeles courthouse on 27 May 2016, which was the day Heard filed for a temporary restraining order from Depp.
“We were trying to capture Amber leaving the courthouse and an alleged bruise on the right side of her face,” he told the court.
“She was going to sort of stop and turn towards the camera to display the bruise on the right side of her face, the alleged bruise.”
When asked if TMZ got the shot, Tremaine responded: “We did.”
The reporter said he was also assigned to photograph Heard on three other occasions.
The reporter claims he was tipped off to dispatch paparazzi next to where Heard was set to appear for a deposition, while on 12 August 2016 he testified that TMZ received a ‘video depicting Johnny Depp slamming some cabinets that was captured by Ms. Heard’.
“Do you typically send paparazzi to parking lots of law offices?” Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, asked.
“No, not at all,” Tremaine replied.
“Did you get the shot of Ms. Heard?” Vasquez asked, to which Tremaine replied: “We did.”
“The video was sent in through our email tip line,” he added, suggesting that TMZ owned copyright.
Vasquez then asked: “How does TMZ obtain copyright over images and videos?”
“The only way to obtain copyright over media would be if we shot it ourselves, if it was sent to the tip line and the source verified it was from the original copyright owner and then either purchased from that person or given to us and then the The third option would be if it was directly given to us by the copyright holder like a direct source,” Tremaine replied.
“It was much shorter than the video that’s been played in this trial,” Tremaine testified. “There was a bit at the beginning that was played here in which Ms. Heard is seemingly sort of setting up the camera and getting into position. And then, there’s a bit at the end where she’s seemingly snickering and looks at the camera. That part was not present in what we received.”
When asked if TMZ edited the video, he replied, “No. Not even a little.”