Jared Leto vs TMZ
Actually, that’s an incomplete title. The complete title should be:
Jared Leto vs TMZ over Taylor Swift
How much do you think Taylor loves that Jared Leto is getting legal with TMZ because of her? Jared is insisting that it’s more about “morality” but, come on, isn’t this about her? Or, more specifically, what he said about her?
A quick recap:
TMZ posted a video earlier this week of Jared in a studio judgy-momming Taylor’s music. He likes most of it. And he hears it as “Starbucks lovers” too! It’s actually not as bad as you think. But at the end, he’s asked some kind of question about, I don’t know, whatever he’s working on, and then he says “f-ck her, I don’t give a f-ck about her, it’s whatever works best for us”.
Jared apologised on Twitter after TMZ published the story.
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.— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) December 7, 2015
And the whole thing would have gone away, but then he decided to sue. Here’s his statement:
"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."
According to The Hollywood Reporter the video in question was taken by a person that Jared hired himself.
In a complaint filed in California federal court, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Leto (through Sisyphus Touring) says the footage was shot Sept. 8 by a videographer retained by him. This videographer is said to have delivered the video to TMZ in exchange for a promised payment of $2,000.
"TMZ requested that Videographer sign a document confirming he had the legal right to deliver the Footage," states the complaint. "Videographer refused to sign such an acknowledgement. Prior to any broadcast of the Footage, Plaintiff had advised Defendants that the Footage was stolen, and that Defendants were not authorized to disseminate, display, or publish the Footage on the website TMZ.com or at all."
The lawsuit adds that TMZ "rushed to publish," and that 15 minutes after it had done so, the videographer (perhaps suffering from a crisis of conscience) urged the gossip site, "Do not post the footage. I do not own it. I do not have permission."
As of this writing, TMZ has not pulled down the video. It’s still available and if you want to see it, click here.
Much to the disappointment of my parents, I did not go to law school. So I have no idea about the legal merit of the situation. But let’s take the legal out of it and discuss this move, this celebrity move – Jared Leto getting all sanctimonious about the stealing. And I’ll start with this question:
If this video had shown Jared Leto being really cute, like inventing a new dance move, or reciting a beautiful poem about, f-ck I don’t know, mountains or eyeliner, whatever. If that was the video, and it goes viral, and people are meming it and Buzzfeed is gushing over it, and everyone loves it…
But it was still obtained the same way by TMZ…
Do you think he sues TMZ?
Lainey, that’s not the point.
Oh I think it is the point. Is it really the “stealing” that’s the problem here? Or is it that he was embarrassed? We talk about this all the time at my fake Faculty Of Celebrity Studies at an imaginary liberal arts university somewhere in New England. That celebrities seem to complain about invasion of privacy only when the perceived invasion portrays them in a negative light. When their privacy is being invaded and they look good?
Looking good is always the priority.
Thing is, he would have still looked good if he had just owned the shade (thanks Lorella!). He would have probably looked BETTER if he had just been like, yeah, I said it, f-ck her, we were recording this song or we were doing this and I actually didn’t give a f-ck what she thought about it or whatever.
Well, we now know that Jared Leto was so terrified of insulting Taylor Swift that he said sorry super fast. And that he was so mortified by the public reveal of him not being in her Squad that he spent his energy on calling his lawyers and mounting a legal attack on TMZ.
Dude. You coulda just shrugged it off.
Kevin Mazur/ MTV1415/ Getty Images