Earlier this week, TMZ leaked a video of Jared Leto talking shit about Taylor Swift and her album 1989. Sample quote: “I mean, fuck her, I don’t give a fuck about her.” Leto quickly issued an apology via Twitter, and now The Hollywood Reporter reports that he’s filed a copyright lawsuit against TMZ and parent company Warner Bros. Entertainment, alleging that they obtained and published the footage illegally.
According to the suit, the clip was shot by a videographer hired by Leto in September, who sold it to TMZ for $2000 but refused to sign a document confirming that he had the legal right to do so. Leto says he warned TMZ that the footage was stolen and they were not authorized to publish it, but they did anyway, after which the videographer also reportedly requested that they not post it. As of today, the video is still up on TMZ’s website. Leto has issued a statement calling TMZ’s actions “an invasion of privacy” and “legally and morally wrong,” and you can read the full thing below.
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.