TMZ filed an emergency motion in court Tuesday to prevent Johnny Depp from calling a former employee of the gossip site to testify in the ongoing defamation trial against Amber Heard.
According to the motion, TMZ is seeking to prevent Morgan Tremaine, who worked as a field assignment manager, from testifying, Variety reported.
“TMZ promised this source that it would maintain their confidentiality and would not disclose their name or other information about them,” read the statement from the outlet’s lawyers.
“TMZ makes such promises of confidentiality, from time to time, so that it may publish information in the public interest, and it relies on the journalist’s privilege protecting the identity of confidential sources to do so.”
Depp’s legal team indicated that they wanted to call Tremaine — who provided TMZ with a video of Depp, 58, yelling at Heard, 36, and slamming cabinets — to the stand on Wednesday but declined to state what line of questioning they would follow.
Lawyers for TMZ argued that Tremaine had nothing to do with the video and that any testimony given would be based on “rumor and conjecture.”
TMZ also argued that under Virginia law, the identity of the source should be protected under the journalist’s privilege. The outlet says that Tremaine’s testimony is irrelevant in the trial.
Camille Vasquez — Depp’s attorney — hinted during her cross-examination of Heard that she leaked the video and TMZ had paid for it.
Heard vehemently denied the claim.
Vasquez also claimed that Heard was responsible for tipping off TMZ about getting a restraining order from Depp in 2016. Heard has also denied the allegation and said it was Depp’s divorce lawyer, Laura Wasser, who had close connections at TMZ.
Closing arguments in the Depp-Heard defamation trial are set to begin on Friday.