Morgan Tremaine was employed by the famed celebrity gossip outlet from 2015 until August 2017. In 2016, TMZ obtained several mysterious tips about where the actress would be, as well as a shocking video showing the Pirates of the Caribbean star shouting at Heard after catching her filming him storming around their home.
TMZ initially filed emergency court papers to keep Tremaine from testifying after news broke that he would be one of Depp's upcoming witnesses in the bombshell case, claiming they wanted to protect their tipsters' identities. Judge Penney Azcarate refused their motion and ruled he would be allowed to testify voluntarily.
After being called to the stand, Tremaine explained part of his job was to send camera operators out to locations after the outlet received tips about celebrity activity, adding the information came from a wide array of sources including producers, publicists, lawyers and even the celebrities themselves.
He claimed he received a tip on May 27, 2016, that Heard would be filing a restraining order against the Fantastic Beasts actor in Downtown Los Angeles. The tipster reportedly told him to have a cameraman ready because the Aquaman actress would be stopping to show her allegedly bruised face to the cameras.
When asked about it by Depp's attorney Camille Vasquez, Heard stated she only knew "there was that possibility" reporters would be there given it was a public place, but claimed to be "shocked" by the media presence. She also stated she "had nothing to do" with TMZ securing the copyright to the video.
Tremaine then testified on receiving another tip several months later in August. He told the court he received an email with a link that led to the video of Depp angrily smashing cabinets. The video was published on TMZ within 15 minutes of receiving it.
As OK! previously reported, the father-of-two sued his ex-wife for defamation after she penned an inflammatory op-ed that he believes insinuated he was an abuser, ruining his reputation. The shocking defamation trial began proceedings on Monday, April 11, and is expected to start closing arguments on Friday, May 27.