TMZ filed an emergency motion to prevent Depp’s team from calling a former employee to the stand

A few weeks ago, a video in which Johnny Depp can be seen screaming at Amber Heard while hitting some cabinets in their kitchen was presented in court as evidence. The video had been leaked years before and presented by TMZ. Since yesterday, Johnny Depp’s team presented a list of rebuttal witnesses to close his case, and listed to take the stand on Wednesday 25, was Morgan Tremaine, a former TMZ employer.

On Tuesday 24, TMZ filed an emergency motion to prevent Tremaine from taking the stand. According to the media company, they do not know if Tremaine voluntarily offered himself to testify or if he’s appearing subpoena, but they are asking the Halifax court to prevent him from testifying. Why?

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According to TMZ, they want to protect the confidential source who gave them the video and are appealing to Virginia’s law that protects journalist privilege. TMZ also said that they understand why Depp’s team would think Tremaine’s testimony would be relevant by they argued it would not shed light on whether Depp or Heard defamed each other.

“TMZ promised this source that it would maintain their confidentiality and would not disclose their name or other information about them. TMZ makes such promises of confidentiality, from time to time, so that it may publish information in the public interest, and it relies on the journalist’s privilege protecting the identity of confidential sources to do so.”

The media outlet also argued that Morgan Tremaine was not involved in the reception of said video so his testimony would be based only on “rumor and conjecture.” Tremaine worked for TMZ from 2015 to 2017, around the time the video was leaked.

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One of the most polemic moments of the trial was Camille Vasquez’s cross-examination of Amber Heard. Depp’s lawyer said to Heard that she had been the one that leaked the video to TMZ and that she had received payment for said video. Heard simply replied that she “had nothing to do with that.” Vasquez also implied that Heard had tipped off the media outlet when she attended court to get a restraining order against Johnny Depp; she denied the accusation as well.

Following Vazquez’s allegations and TMZ’s motion, social media users are now suggesting that TMZ is trying to protect Heard for allegedly giving them the video. So, whether Morgan Tremaine takes the stand or not, it’s likely that Depp’s team will use this conjecture in court.