Jared Leto Sues TMZ Over “Stolen” Taylor Swift Diss Video

Truth rating: 10
Jared Leto suing TMZ

By Michael Lewittes

Jared Leto suing TMZ

(Getty Images)

Jared Leto is suing TMZ for posting a private video on Sunday in which he dissed Taylor Swift. In the video, shot in his home recording studio, Leto uttered, “[Expletive] her,” after listening to a few songs from Swift’s album 1989, adding, “I don’t give a [expletive] about her.” Leto later publicly apologized on Twitter, noting, “The truth is I think @taylorswift13 is amazing + an incredible example of what’s possible. If I hurt her or her fans my sincerest apologies.” Now, the Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman is going after TMZ, citing copyright issues and claiming the video was “stolen footage.”

In his lawsuit, filed in California, Leto says the footage was shot by a videographer he had hired, who in turn sold the clip to TMZ for $2,000. According to the Oscar winning actor’s complaint, TMZ sought to have the videographer sign a document attesting to his ownership of the footage, but the “videographer refused to sign such an acknowledgement.” The suit notes that Leto informed TMZ before it posted the video that “the footage was stolen,” and the webloid was “not authorized to disseminate, display, or publish the footage.”

Shortly after the site posted the video, alleges the lawsuit, the videographer informed TMZ, “I do not own it. I do not have permission,” and they therefore didn’t have the right to use the footage. TMZ currently still has the video on its site.

In addition to filing the suit against TMZ, Leto has released a statement in which he says his team informed the webloid on Sunday that he “fully owned the footage and that their source had absolutely no rights to sell it.” He adds that the site “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,” notes Leto. The actor and musician concludes his statement by saying, “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.”

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