Jared Leto is going to take another run at TMZ in the court system.
On Saturday, the day after a judge granted summary judgment to TMZ in a lawsuit Leto brought against the website, the “Suicide Squad” star vowed to appeal the decision.
“We are launching an appeal immediately and are confident the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse this decision,” Leto said in a statement Saturday. “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.”
Leto filed a copyright infringement suit against TMZ in December, claiming that a video it published, in which Leto said that he didn’t “give a f–k” about Taylor Swift, was an “unauthorized or stolen copy,” and that the video was “private and confidential and not meant to be publicly released.”
On Friday, a judge saw things otherwise, ruling that the videographer, Naeem Munaf, was never an employee of Leto’s and and did not agree in writing to make the video a work-made-for-hire prior to shooting it in September 2015.
But in Saturday’s statement, Leto held firm that TMZ purchased “stolen goods.”
“It was wrong of TMZ to purchase stolen goods. It was wrong of TMZ to exploit material that did not belong to them,” Leto said. “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.”
The actor also painted the issue in moral terms.
“We decided to fight back because it was the right thing to do. We will continue to fight because it is the right thing to do,” Leto said. “Using antiquated laws to find loopholes that hurt, shame and slander people in the name of ‘news’ isn’t just a legal issue, it is a moral one.”
Claiming that sworn testimony was ignored in the decision, Leto said that the ruling “rewards TMZ for their duplicity.”
“Ignoring the sworn testimony that both the videographer and I understood and agreed that I owned the footage, the decision rewards TMZ for their duplicity and further encourages them to publish materials they know to be stolen,” Leto said.
In the video, Leto was seen listening to Swift’s music for possible inspiration, but eventually declares: “I don’t give a f– about her.”
After the footage circulated, Leto tweeted an apology to Swift and her fans, 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.”
In a lengthy statement accompanying the lawsuit, Leto said that he filed the suit in hopes of encouraging “more people to stop trafficking in stolen goods.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.