Harvey Levin’s Top Lieutenant Leaves TMZ After Newsroom Clash (Exclusive)

Mike Walters storms out of TMZ newsroom after Levin calls his sister “shady”

Harvey Levin’s right-hand man Mike Walters quit TMZ after the two very nearly came to blows in front of the newsroom shortly before Christmas, TheWrap has learned from multiple sources close to the situation.

Sources said it started because Levin didn’t want to re-negotiate the contract of Liz Walters, who is Mike’s sister and ran the company’s court reporting beat. Levin referred to her as “shady” to the entire staff and Walters immediately confronted him, needing to be physically restrained by staffers.

TheWrap learned that Levin repeatedly shouted “shady” during the altercation, and Mike Walters packed up his stuff and left the office without returning.

Liz has also left the company.

TMZ did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Mike Walters had been with TMZ for 13 years and wore many hats, including news director and executive producer of “TMZ Live.” Walters, who once said it sounded like a fart when his son was born, was a fan favorite among viewers of “TMZ on TV.”

Insiders say Walters was very important to Levin, as most of the people there strictly take orders but Walters has deep sources in the law enforcement community surrounding Los Angeles. His father is a deputy sheriff in Orange County and Walters often broke news related to arrests and criminal activity.

Tony Maglio contributed to this report.