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Judge Rules Against TMZ, Allowing Former TMZ Employee to Testify in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial

Published on May 26th, 2022 | Updated on May 26th, 2022 | By FanFest

A Virginia judge ruled against TMZ on Wednesday, allowing its former employee to testify in Johnny Depp‘s bombshell defamation case against Amber Heard.

Judge Penney Azcarate denied the gossip site’s emergency motion to prevent Morgan Tremaine from being called as a rebuttal witness by Depp.

TMZ argued that Tremaine should not be forced to give up information about the source of a video that showed Depp yelling and slamming cabinet doors. The video ran on the site in 2016.

“We are seeking to intervene to protect the relationship and their sources,” TMZ lawyer Charles Tobin told the judge.

Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft also objected to Tremaine’s testimony, claiming he should have been identified as a witness earlier in the case.

However, Depp’s lawyer Ben Chew noted that Tremaine was not subpoenaed but would be testifying voluntarily.

ben chew former tmz employee testifying in johnny depp amber heard trial
Ben Chew

“In this case, it appears that the witness is willing to state the name of the confidential source without being compelled,” Azcarate said.

“Whether that breached a nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Tremaine and [TMZ’s parent company] EHM is not germane to this matter and can be litigated in a separate matter if EHM so chooses.”

During his testimony later Wednesday, Tremaine told the jury about receiving a video of Depp and Heard’s alleged fight on Aug. 12, 2016, through TMZ’s email tip line.

Depp also talked about how paparazzi take pictures of Heard with a bruise on her face after she filed a restraining order against him in May 2016.

“Their objective was to capture her leaving the courthouse and she was going to sort of stop and turn toward the camera to display the bruise on the right side of her face, the alleged bruise,” testified Tremaine about the incident in Los Angeles.

The trial is expected to end on Thursday. The jury might deliberate on Friday.

Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife, Heard, for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit after she wrote in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed that he “became a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The 36-year-old actress then sued Depp for $100 million, claiming that he lied about the abuse allegations.

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