Taylor Swift was the target of Jared Leto’s rant that went viral last month. Leto ultimately apologized for the expletive-laden rant that included Leto’s wish that 30 Seconds To Mars could get a hit like one of Swift’s. Leto complained to TMZ about the shocking video, leading up to a lawsuit TMZ has waged against the supposed owner of the Taylor Swift rant.
Apparently there are questions about the ownership of Jared Leto’s video rant. This has led TMZ and their parent company, Warner Bros, to a file suit against the source of the Leto tape that they purchased.
In the video, Jared Leto and the rest of his 30 Seconds To Mars crew are trying to find inspiration for their next album. Taylor Swift, being the ultimate hit-maker right now, was being played for inspiration. It seems that even Taylor couldn’t get Jared’s creative juices flowing and ultimately, the 30 Seconds To Mars singer dismissed the pop chart-topper with a very rude, “I mean, f*** her. I don’t give a f*** about her”
Leto was very quick to apologize to Taylor Swift, then blasted TMZ for releasing the invasive video. Jared called into question where the footage was obtained, leading TMZ to realize their source may not really have been authorized to sell Jared Leto’s Taylor Swift rant.
Rolling Stones reported on the TMZ lawsuit, calling the move unexpected. The TMZ complaint was filed on Friday against Jacob Miller, who reportedly shot the film. TMZ claims that Miller may not have actually owned the film, and because of that, was not authorized to sell it to the tabloid.
The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that TMZ really is in an uncomfortable position with the tape leak. While the Jared Leto rant against Taylor Swift was juicy, the superstar also happens to be starring as The Joker in the upcoming comic book hit Suicide Squad. That anticipated blockbuster also happens to be owned by Warner Bros. So basically TMZ embarrassed one of the biggest stars in a huge movie owned by their parent company.
Then, to top it all off, an angry Jared Leto sued TMZ for copyright infringement for sharing the video. That probably has a lot to do with TMZ‘s suit against Jacob Miller. It wouldn’t be surprising if there is a lot of behind-the-scenes cleanup going on over that incident.
— billboard (@billboard) January 9, 2016
Warner Bros is using their go-to entertainment attorney Kelly Klaus to defend themselves against the actor for using the footage. Warner Bros and TMZ are hoping to put all culpability on Jacob Miller, relieving TMZ of any responsibility to Jared Leto for the leak.
It is up to TMZ to prove they covered all bases when checking copyright information of the leaked Leto footage. TMZ claims that Miller told their partner EHM that he owned the video and had recorded the footage himself. After learning that Taylor Swift was mentioned in the video, TMZ offered $2k for the piece.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miller signed a contract with TMZ that stated, “By accepting this offer, you acknowledge that TMZ has agreed to make the Payment to you based on your representations to TMZ that you are able to enter into this agreement without any obligations to any third party.”
If TMZ can prove that Miller wasn’t really the owner of the video as he claimed, then any judgment against them for sharing it could end up becoming Jacob Miller’s problem instead. Leto’s lawsuit claims that TMZ knew before airing the footage that it may have been stolen. The tabloid also reportedly only received a portion of the contract back from Miller, which happened to be missing key information about the origin of the film.
Now a judge will have to decide if Jacob Miller owned the Jared Leto footage, and if not, who has to pay up for airing his private thoughts on Taylor Swift.
[Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Fast Company]