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Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial: Ex-TMZ staffer’s damning testimony

An ex-TMZ producer has offered explosive new details on an embarrassing video of Johnny Depp – and it doesn’t look good for Amber Heard.

A surprise witness has taken the stand during the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and implied that the actress’ team was responsible for leaking an embarrassing video of the Pirates of the Caribbean star.

Former TMZ field producer Morgan Tremaine, spoke in court on Wednesday – six days after contacting Depp’s lawyer.

He said he first worked on an assignment involving Heard on May 27, 2016, when he dispatched a photographer to snap her leaving a Los Angeles courthouse after obtaining a restraining order against Depp.

“Their objective was to capture her leaving the courthouse, and then, she was going to, sort of, stop and turn toward the camera and display the bruising on the right side of her face,” said Tremaine, who did not know who called in the tip.

About three months later, TMZ got an email with a link to a video Heard filmed of Depp violently slamming kitchen cabinets.

The footage was previously played for jurors, but the clip sent to TMZ was shorter, and did not include the beginning that shows Heard setting up the camera or the end that shows her smirking, Tremaine told jurors.

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TMZ owns the copyright to the video. He said that TMZ obtains copyright if video is sent to the tip line from the original copyright owner, usually the person who shot the footage.

If footages doesn’t come from the original copyright holder, it takes quite a bit of time to verify before TMZ can publish a story, he said.

“How much time passed from when you received the kitchen cabinet video before it was posted?” asked Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez.

“About 15 minutes,” he replied.

Tremaine said he worked on other Heard’ stories – including dispatching photographers to snap her arriving at LAX or visiting her lawyer’s office.

Heard is being sued by Depp for $US50million ($A67 million) for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Although she did not name him, he claims her allegations are false and cost him lucrative movie roles.

Heard has countersued, asking for $US100 million ($A134 million) and claiming she suffered “rampant physical violence and abuse” at her hands but was defamed when claims were made that she had manufactured the allegations.

Ex-TMZ staffer wanted ’15 minutes of fame,’ Heard’s lawyer says

On cross-examination, Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, asked Tremaine if he reached out to help on the case for publicity.

“So this gets you your 15 minutes of fame?” Bredehoft asked.

“I stand to gain nothing from this. I’m actually putting myself in the target of TMZ, a very litigious organization,” Tremaine replied. “I could say the same thing about you taking Amber Heard as a client.”

Text message trips up Depp

A text message sent between Johnny Depp and his assistant five years ago has tripped him up during his time on the stand as his defamation trial against Amber Heard continues.

In the Virginia courtroom today, Heard’s lawyer, Ben Rottenborn, asked Depp while he was under cross-examination whether he had ever said “if you want to be with a woman sexually then she is rightfully yours?”

Depp responded, “That’s ludicrous.”

Rottenborn pressed Depp. “You also said with respect to women you want to be with, ‘I need, I want, I take’ haven’t you?” the lawyer asked.

Equally ludicrous,” Depp replied. “There is not enough hubris in me to say anything like that.”

Rottenborn then confronted Depp with a text exchange he allegedly had with his assistant Feb. 22, 2017. The messages were turned over by Depp’s legal team.

“Molly’s p**y is RIGHTFULLY MINE!!!! Should I not just bust in and remove its hinges tonight???” the text says. “I want to change her understanding of what it is like to be thrashed about like a pleading Mackrel… I NEED. YO QUIERO. I TAKE.”

Depp denied he sent the messages and said someone else may have borrowed his phone and texted his assistant.

Depp admits there was a phone in bar area during blowout Australia fight

Under cross-examination, Depp was also confronted with his testimony from the UK libel trial against The Sun newspaper for branding him a wife-beater.

He was asked whether a “phone that was a wall mounted phone that was picked up by you held in your right hand, you were repeatedly smashing it against the wall with your right hand?”

“That’s possible,” Depp replied. “I do not believe I spent very much time on the phone. I remember ripping it off the wall.”

Amber Heard testified that Depp bashed off the tip of his finger while punching a phone during a brawl in Australia in 2015.

Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, suggested that the actress was lying about the wall-mounted phone. It didn’t appear in any of the photos of the rented house and the property manager testified that he did not see one.

This article originally appeared in Fox News and was reproduced with permission.

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