Jared Leto is still trying to have the last laugh at TMZ, even after his lawsuit against the online publication was tossed out this weekend. The Suicide Squad star filed a lawsuit against TMZ alleging copyright infringement on a video the site posted of him saying some choice words in reference to Taylor Swift's music.
On Friday, the presiding judge ruled in TMZ's favor, but Jared Leto promised that he will continue fighting the website by appealing the decision, in a statement released to The Wrap.
We are launching an appeal immediately and are confident the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse this decision. I hope that we will one day move toward a place where we ask how well we can treat one another rather than how badly.
Jared Leto filed the copyright infringement suit against TMZ in December of 2015, after the site published a video of Leto in his studio critiquing tracks from Taylor Swift's album 1989. Apparently, Leto was listening to the hit pop album to get ideas for the musical direction of his own band, 30 Seconds to Mars. Though the band has been less active in recent years as Leto focused more on acting, they revealed towards the end of 2015 that they are working on their fifth studio album, which will come out in 2017.
At the end of the clip, Leto says of Swift "F--- her. I don't give a f--- about her." After the video surfaced online, Jared Leto tweeted an apology to Taylor Swift, saying that she's "an incredible example of what's possible."
Jared Leto then sued TMZ, asserting that the video is his private property shot by an employee in his home studio. However, the judge ruled that the man who shot the video, a cinematographer named Naeem Munaf, was in fact not Leto's employee, which meant that the video was not Leto's property after all.
In his statement, Jared Leto still asserts that Munaf was his employee and that the video TMZ posted was stolen from him.
It was wrong of TMZ to purchase stolen goods. It was wrong of TMZ to exploit material that did not belong to them. Neither myself, nor the employee in question, have any confusion around the issue at hand --- he was an employee who was hired to work for us and the footage he shot in the privacy of my home studio was owned by me.
This TMZ lawsuit is yet another bit of sour publicity for Jared Leto in the past year. While filming for Suicide Squad, reports regularly came out that Leto would get into character as the maniacal Joker by surprising his costars with gross gifts, including dead pigs and used condoms. Even under the guise of method acting, the perverted Santa Claus routine was seen by some as going too far. On top of that, Suicide Squad wound up being critically panned by the majority of critics. Though it made a killing in the box office, the movie has a disappointing 26 percent fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.
But it's clear in that Jared Leto is not down for the count yet. The actor sounds resolved to continue fighting TMZ. A court date for the appeal has not yet been set. Meanwhile, he did issue a Twitter apology to Taylor Swift back in December of 2015...