TMZ's lawyer, Charles Tobin, argued that Morgan Tremaine should not be forced to give up or give testimony for any details about a source who provided a video of Johnny Depp slamming the kitchen cabinet doors and yelling at Amber Heard, which was previously shown in the courthouse and ran on the TMZ website in 2016, and which TMZ owns the copyright to.
Elaine Bredehoft, Amber Heard's lawyer, also objected to Morgan Tremaine being asked to testify, claiming that he should have been named as a witness earlier in the case. Benjamin Chew, Johnny Depp's lawyer, maintained that Morgan Tremaine was not subpoenaed and instead testified of his own free choice. Judge Penney Azcarate dismissed the motion by TMZ and said that it appears that the witness is willing to testify and divulge the name of the secret source without being forced to and the NDA between Morgan and TMZ does not concern the trial in Virginia.
Morgan Tremaine appeared in the courthouse and revealed that he had received a link of a drop box which then lead to them finding a video of Johnny Depp slamming the kitchen cabinets on August 12th, 2016 via TMZ’s email tip line. Although he did not reveal the name of the source, he did mention that the video that was shown in the courtroom did not seem edited but the one they received on the tip line had been edited to parts where Amber Heard was not seen setting up the camera or sniggering at the end.
When asked how long it took them to watch the video and post it, Morgan Tremaine stated it took them 15 minutes from the time he received it through email as they had to put on a bumper to acclaim the copyright on the video. The former field assignment manager was asked how can TMZ obtain copyright on a media sent to them, and he explained that copyright for media sent to TMZ has to be obtained before it could be published. Morgan explained that the only way to do so was if they shot the media themselves, or if it was sent to the tip line source-verified that it was from the original copyright owner and then either purchased from that person or given to the TMZ and the third possibility would be if it was directly given to the TMZ by the copyright holder, similar to a direct source.
Morgan Tremaine further revealed that TMZ was alerted about Amber Heard going to the courthouse to file or obtain a restraining order against Johnny Depp and Morgan Tremaine’s cameramen were instructed to take pictures of an alleged bruise on the right side of Amber Heard’s face in May 2016. He also mentioned that they got a tip to catch her at LAX.
Morgan Tremaine testified that their main purpose was to capture her leaving the courthouse, and she was supposed to stop and turn towards the camera to put her alleged bruise, which was on the right side of the face, on display for the paparazzi. Morgan Tremaine was questioned by Elaine Bredehoft during cross-examination if he is testifying for the sake of 15 minutes of fame because the trial is being aired, to which Morgan answered that he has nothing to gain from it. He had been positioning himself as a TMZ target, claiming that it was based on her assumption and that she was allowed to do so.
Morgan Tremaine also said to Amber Heard’s attorney that he could have said the same thing to her as taking Amber Heard as a client and concluded that he finds it purely logical. While Elaine looked pretty taken back by his response, the audience laughed along with Johnny Depp’s team, and Morgan Tremaine has been praised for being honest and so crisp in his testimony.
After Morgan Tremaine, Bryan Neumeister, a forensic photo expert, was called upon to testify for Johnny Depp and share his expert opinion on the authenticity of some of the pictures that were in evidence. Bryan said in his testimony that many of the pictures shown to the jury in which Amber Heard was showing the bruises had been through an editing program.
Bryan Neumeister, who is an expert in metadata, explained to the jury that Apple editing software known as Photos 1.5 or Photos 3.0 last modified the images. He mentioned that the pictures that were presented as the evidence could not come out of an iPhone but would go into a computer and be edited. He later demonstrated three versions of the arm bruise picture provided by Amber Heard, which were in three different sizes, and he said that forensically they do not match and there is no way to authenticate these pictures.
Dr. Richard Gilbert, who testified for Johnny Depp, indicated that he differed with Amber Heard's expert, Dr. Richard Moore, on how Johnny Depp's finger was treated. He said that Johnny Depp's fracture was comminuted, which means it was fractured into many pieces and caused by a blunt impact. The court was shown X-rays of Johnny Depp’s fingers, which showed that the tip had several breaks in it, and he said that he did believe that the reason for this could be what Johnny Depp explained.
The closing statement from both teams are to be heard on Friday!