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TMZ Files Emergency Motion To Block Its Former Reporter From Testifying For Johnny Depp

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Johnny Depp / source : lawandcrime.com

The celebrity tabloid TMZ filed an emergency motion to block testimony by its former reporter who appeared on Johnny Depp’s list of anticipated witnesses for today.

“Journalists’ promises of confidentiality are vital to reporting the news,” TMZ’s attorneys wrote in a 7-page motion. “That is why the law strongly protects the ability of journalists to keep their promises. The Court should permit TMZ to keep the promise it made here.”

Morgan Tremaine, formerly of the celebrity tabloid, appeared on a list of anticipated witnesses before Depp’s rebuttal case began on Tuesday, in the actor’s defamation suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

“With this motion, TMZ seeks a protective order precluding Plaintiff from eliciting or Mr. Tremaine from disclosing TMZ’s privileged information during the testimony,” the emergency motion states. “TMZ is uncertain whether Mr. Tremaine is appearing pursuant to a trial subpoena. If he is, TMZ likewise requests that the Court quash the subpoena.”

Known for celebrity-related exclusives—even getting first wind of actress Betty White’s death this past New Year’s Eve—TMZ says in their motion that they got unpleasantly scooped on Tremaine’s anticipated testimony by Radar Online.

“According to the Radar Online report, [Depp] plans to elicit testimony from Mr. Tremaine regarding TMZ’s confidential source in an effort to ‘impeach’ the credibility of [Heard],” the motion states. “Mr. Tremaine was a field assignment manager with TMZ at the time the article was published, but no longer works for the company.”

During Heard’s testimony, she denied leaking a video of Depp yelling at her to TMZ, which claims that Tremaine has no knowledge about the source of the footage.

Depp and Heard’s trial has been taking place in a courthouse in Fairfax County, Va., where TMZ claims that state law protects journalistic privilege.

“Virginia courts recognize a privilege, rooted in the First Amendment, protecting the relationship between journalists and their confidential sources and preventing those confidential sources from being outed in discovery or at trial,” the motion states.

So does California law, TMZ notes, describing the Golden State as the site of their original newsgathering. The website notes that the evidence that Depp seeks would not appear to advance his defamation case, other than to attempt to undermine Heard’s credibility.

“Here, it appears that Plaintiff seeks TMZ’s confidential source information purely for purposes of impeaching the credibility of Defendant and not because the information has anything directly to do with the elements of the underlying defamation case,” the motion states. “As noted , an effort to obtain impeachment evidence for its own sake is insufficient to overcome the privilege, and the question of who provided a leaked tape to TMZ is irrelevant to the elements of defamation. The identity of TMZ’s source has no bearing on whether, for example, the statements Plaintiff is challenging are substantially true or whether Defendant acted with the requisite degree of fault.”

Depp’s lawsuit against Heard stems from a 2018 Washington Post op-ed under her byline. The editorial said that Heard “became a public figure representing domestic abuse” two years ago, when she publicly accused Depp of intimate partner violence in filing a restraining order. Heard countersued after Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman characterized her allegations as a “hoax.”

Depp’s rebuttal trial continues on today, when his supermodel ex-girlfriend Kate Moss is expected to testify.

Read the motion here : 7-page motion

 

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US President Joe Biden turns 80 Today: New Generation’ of Democratic Leaders Takes Control in Congress

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President Joe Biden will celebrate his 80th birthday on Sunday, marking the first time a sitting president has reached that milestone while in office and fueling speculation about how his advancing age will affect his political future.

Biden — who was the oldest person to assume the presidency in January 2021, just 61 days after his 78th birthday — has said he intends to make another White House bid, even as his age-adjacent peers, including 82-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have made the decision to step away from leadership in order to make way for a younger generation.

“My intention is that I will run again. But I’m a great respecter of fate and this is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run but we’re going to have discussions about it. And I don’t feel any hurry one way or the other to make that judgment.” he said last week, after helming what many say is the most successful midterm election for a sitting president’s party in decades, though noting that those results would not have an impact on his decision to run again.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden greets guests before speaking at an event at the White House complex, Nov. 18, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Biden is the oldest person to serve as commander in chief in the nation’s history. Should he seek reelection in 2024 and win, the president would be 86 by the end of his second term. He has said he’ll talk over his future with his wife and the rest of his family over the holidays.

Biden has said he is hoping that he and his wife “get a little time to actually sneak away for a week around between Christmas and Thanksgiving” and that his decision to run for reelection will likely “be early next year we make that judgment.”

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Shanquella Robinson’s Death in Cabo, Father Believes Attack Was a Set Up

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Shanquella Robinson‘s mysterious death in Mexico smells like a set up to her father … he tells TMZ he believes his daughter was attacked as part of a diabolical plan.

Shanquella, who was from North Carolina, was found dead last month in her room in Los Cabos … where she was vacationing with a group of friends. Her parents say the friends told them the 25-year-old died of alcohol poisoning.

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Drunk woman steals 45ft ferry while shouting ‘I’m Jack Sparrow’

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A drunken woman stole a passenger ferry on the River Dart and shouted 'I'm Jack Sparrow' and 'I'm a pirate' as she drifted away from police on the shore

A DRUNK has been jailed after she stole a 100-seat ferry and smashed into boats, yelling, “I’m Jack Sparrow! I’m a pirate!”

Alison Whelan, 51, boarded the 45ft Dart Princess with a friend after a two-day bender, where she got drunk on Lambrini and ate poisonous deadly nightshade, which causes hallucinations.

She undid the mooring ropes in the early hours and drifted up a river on the tide, bashing into other boats “like a pinball machine”.

Whelan taunted police, shouting: “What are you going to do now?” and “I believe this is out of your jurisdiction!”

Thirty police, a lifeboat crew, Coastguards and paramedics had to be called.

And when the cops finally arrested her after an hour when the ferry came to rest in calm water, she told them: “We’d have ended up in St Tropez if we hadn’t been caught.”

Whelan, of Paignton, Devon, stole the double-decker ferry in nearby Dartmouth a year ago.

She had called an ambulance, claiming to have had a seizure. Medics found her drunk and rambling, and one of them was pushed over by her friend, Tristam Locke.

The medics called police and went to their vehicle to wait, then looked in their mirror and saw the ferry drifting away from shore.

Whelan told police she untied “two or three” of the mooring ropes because she kept tripping over them.

She said she then felt the boat moving and “noticed the hotels getting a long way away”.

The ferry suffered £1500 of damage when it hit two other boats, which were also damaged. Torquay magistrates heard Whelan and Locke could have been killed on rocks if the tide on the River Dart had been going out at the time.

Locke was fined £100 last year for assaulting an ambulance technician.

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