Oscar-winning actor and musician Jared Leto has filed a lawsuit in California federal court against TMZ for publishing an alleged “stolen” video in which he insults pop singer Taylor Swift.
In the video, which was posted on the site on Monday, Leto can be seen listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 with a sound engineer for his band 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto and the engineer appeared to be looking at the album for musical inspiration; however, Leto at one point said of Swift, “F—k her, I don’t give a f—k about her.”
The actor-singer also said on the video he would like to “steal” what Swift had done with the hook on the song “Blank Spaces,” but he was critical of several aspects of the hit album.
After the footage was published by TMZ, the Dallas Buyers Club actor apologized to Swift and her fans on Twitter, writing, “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.”
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
The video was shot in September inside Leto’s home by a paid videographer, who delivered it to TMZ for a promised payment of $2,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
TMZ allegedly offered to pay the videographer, despite being aware that the man had no legal rights to the footage. Leto is now suing TMZ for posting the video, which he describes as “stolen” in his legal complaint.
In a statement obtained by THR, Leto said he warned TMZ not post the video. He also said that he hoped his lawsuit would “encourage more people to stop trafficking in stolen goods.”
Last Sunday, I was alerted 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,” Leto said. “Let’s be clear. This was stolen footage. This was an invasion of privacy. And it was both morally and legally wrong.
TMZ has not yet responded to the legal complaint.
Watch the video below: