Jared Leto is suing TMZ after they published that Taylor Swift-hating video


Earlier this week, I covered Jared Leto’s shade-throwing video, which was published on TMZ. As I said at the time, it seemed like a clip of a longer video, possibly documentary footage or some kind of behind-the-scenes look at Jared or his band. In the video, Jared is listening to some songs off Taylor Swift’s last album, 1989, and giving his #hottake on each song. His criticisms were brief, and not even that bad, considering he said he liked “Blank Space.” Swifty’s super-fans attacked Leto and he ended up tweeting out an apology (which was funny, and sort of shady) to Taylor. Well, it turns out that the story about how TMZ got their hands on the video is more interesting that Swift-shade and now Leto is suing TMZ.

Jared Leto, the Oscar-winning actor and frontman of the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, has lodged a notable new copyright lawsuit against TMZ and parent company Warner Bros. Entertainment, alleging that the gossip site published a sensational video after being warned that it was stolen. Leto is directing his anger at TMZ for invading his privacy. His Sisyphus Touring company has brought a copyright lawsuit that could put the Warner Bros.-owned site on its heels with some sort of fair use defense. If the lawsuit goes far, it could also explore TMZ’s reportorial methods. In a complaint filed in California federal court, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Leto (through Sisyphus Touring) says the footage was shot Sept. 8 by a videographer retained by him. This videographer is said to have delivered the video to TMZ in exchange for a promised payment of $2,000.

“TMZ requested that Videographer sign a document confirming he had the legal right to deliver the Footage,” states the complaint. “Videographer refused to sign such an acknowledgement. Prior to any broadcast of the Footage, Plaintiff had advised Defendants that the Footage was stolen, and that Defendants were not authorized to disseminate, display, or publish the Footage on the website TMZ.com or at all.”

The lawsuit adds that TMZ “rushed to publish,” and that 15 minutes after it had done so, the videographer (perhaps suffering from a crisis of conscience) urged the gossip site, “Do not post the footage. I do not own it. I do not have permission.”

Here’s Leto’s full statement:

“Last Sunday, I was alerted that TMZ had acquired personal and private video footage of me in my home and that they were planning to leak it on their site. My team notified TMZ immediately that I fully owned the footage and that their source had absolutely no rights to sell it. They chose to post it anyway. Let’s be clear. This was stolen footage. This was an invasion of privacy. And it was both legally and morally wrong. Regardless of who we are, we should all be able to talk freely in the privacy of our own homes without the fear that our unfiltered thoughts or actions will get broadcast to the world. We have the right to privacy and security and when we don’t have protections in place to safeguard those things, we lose the freedom to speak loudly and clearly – right or wrong – about anything and everything we choose to. I have chosen to file this lawsuit not because I want to, but in hopes it will encourage more people to stop trafficking in stolen goods, to follow proper legal procedure and so that it may motivate additional consideration for the harm these acts can create, especially when the only intention is to simply further the bottom line for the companies and corporations that commit these acts.”

[From THR]

While I don’t think it’s particularly smart to pick a fight with TMZ, I do think Leto’s lawsuit seems above-board. The videographer does not and did not own the footage if Leto himself hired the videographer to film him. And Leto is probably smart to pick a fight over something that really isn’t that big of a deal in the long-run. I mean, he took a swipe at Taylor Swift and that’s all. He offered an apology on Twitter and that was the extent of the “damage control” needed here. I get the feeling that Leto has more shady stuff going on in his life, stuff that would actually put a dent in his reputation, so why not put his foot down about this right now?

Now, that being said… TMZ is owned by Warner Bros. And Jared is the Joker in Warner Bros.’s Suicide Squad. This is an internal fight too, and I suspect that at the end of the day, TMZ will probably just remove the video.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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29 Responses to “Jared Leto is suing TMZ after they published that Taylor Swift-hating video”

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  1. Crumpet says:

    He is scarily ageless. Does he bathe in the blood of newborn babies or what?

  2. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    I feel like Warner Brothers would bow to a celeb before TMZ. It’s a bit of an ugly cycle but even with whatever money TMZ makes for Warner without the actual celeb’s in question TMZ suffers and without the celeb’s working for Warner the studio suffers.

    I personally hate TMZ for the ugly manipulative way they attain stories, choose what stories to publish and blackmail celeb’s.

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:

      When TMZ released Mel Gibson’s racist rant,Warner Bros was not happy because Gibson was a WB’s golden boy and TMZ forgot to avert them and WB were not able to protect Gibson
      When TMZ had Christian Bale’s rant,they averted Warner Bros who gave their agreement to release the audio and neither TMZ nor WB averted Bale whereas they were able to buy and shout down the scandal .What they did with Justin Bieber’s racist video

  3. Pandy says:

    Who hires a videographer and then picks apart other artists on film? Not that he doesn’t have a point to his lawsuit … but you’re kind of asking for it.

    And ugh- change the hair Jared. You’re looking a little too twee.

    • Lizzie McGuire says:

      Leto seems like the guy who will do that, talk smack of other “mainstream” artists because they don’t do it for the art just like he does. He seems to have a big ego who thinks his music speaks to everyone’s soul or whatever.

      For one side yeah the videographer shouldn’t have leaked any personal videos if he was hire to do a “documentary” of Leto. But as a famous celeb he should know that anything controversial that you say that’s either being recorded or said to someone will get leaked.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        It seems like Leto would have had the videographer sign an NDA prior to filming..that’s just standard procedure. If the guy did sign one, Leto could easily sue his pants off. If not, Leto is just not a smart cookie.

  4. Pinky says:

    Just removing the video does not make the lawsuit go away. The damage’s been done. Now it’s about restitution for damaging his image and paying for the theft and any perceived profits thereby gained.

  5. InvaderTak says:

    This is just the Oasis guy and what he said about Adele; who cares? And why would you bother bashing an artist that you don’t like? It doesn’t make you look edgy, it makes you look petty and potentially dumb. Just say you don’t care for it and move on. Why is this so hard? And that’s what all the real snobs ignore them anyway; know too much and snobs think you’re a closet fan. All of this just proves Leto is still totally clueless.

  6. Don't kill me I'm French says:

    It is interesting how Jared ” the artist” is afraid of TayTay ‘s possible anger

  7. that time i didn't care says:

    Someone should sue him for forcing us to look at his horrendous dye jobs. Gross.

  8. Wentworth Miller says:

    Is he still going on about what HE said? Wouldn’t this entire thing have blown over if he stopped talking about it and trying to blame other people for something that he got caught doing?
    Kid Rock said that he didn’t see what the hype around Beyonce is. Her crazy ass stand went after him and he basically said f-*% u, to them all.
    Jared, no one cares if u aren’t a Taylor Swift groupie. It’s okay. You’re entitled to your feelings.

  9. Casi says:

    His desire to be in the spotlight is clashing with his desire to keep Taylor on speed dial, I think. Yeah, he wants everyone talking about it, but what if one day he decides he wants a(nother?) hookup?

  10. db says:

    Good for him. The videographer sounds like a POS for approaching TMZ in the first place, and probably has more footage of Jared Unfiltered.

  11. Jayna says:

    I used to think he was cute with long dark hair and a beard and mustache, all that facial hair. Now, I just think he’s meh and creepy, definitely not hot.

  12. FLORC says:

    No secret here I don’t like him. My guess is the Videographer also has footage of him just trash talking everyone he doesn’t approve of. And if he doesn’t approve he does make it known. Or at least he did in the times I dealt with him. And he only seems to have gotten worse since then. He’s horrible.

  13. WinnieCoopersMom says:

    Ugh I really used to like Leto ..but now with this egotistical pettiness and knowing he is best buds with creepster Uncle Terry ..no sir. He thinks of himself as some important indie artist who’s above it all but his band is a sell out and he tries to get more social media followers by posting Instagram shots with the cool kids of HWood. “Joker” fits him perfectly, this guy really is a joke.

  14. goldmama says:

    Let’s just all forget for one moment what and who the video was about and let’s focus on the main issue. Jared, a human like all of us, is at home and talks about his own feelings. Ok, so he has someone filming him at his home. So do a lot of people who have friends with smartphones. And now imagine, any of you talks bad about someone else, like a boss or neighbours or other friends because we all do that without meaning actual harm,don’t we. And now one of your friends whips out a smartphone, starts recording your rant and posts it on YouTube, Facebook,… Without ever telling you. How would you feel? I know that I would be angry, mildly said and yes, I would sue as well. Why I am happy Jared is suing and making a big fuss is that he is famous and the crowds will listen and the lawsuit will be hughe and people will again realise to respect the privacy of others and not post every snippet on the Internet. So many times friends or family members post things that should not be without thinking how the person depicted in the video will feel or what consequences it may have in future. Even if it never goes to court I hope Jared will not let it go and rise awareness that there are limits to what to post and to ask for permission first no matter if you are famous or not.

    • FLORC says:

      He didn’t ask permission to insult his fans that asked him to autograph an older photo from his soap opera days and call them names for liking soap operas. Or care much for the Microphone he got upset at on same concert stage and tossed into full crowd. Backstage had to handle a girls scrapped cheek.

      He has an attitude of being above everyone until it concerns him. This is my 1st hand knowledge of him. That he’s besties with Uncle Terry is not surprising.
      Your point makes sense if I didn’t have the unfortunate circumstance of having known him.

  15. KCAT says:

    It’s a badge of honor.