TMZ (website) - Notable Coverage

Notable Coverage

On July 28, 2006, TMZ.com was the first to report that actor Mel Gibson had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Along with releasing the story, TMZ also reported "exclusive details" about the case shortly after. In the report TMZ.com posted, it contained his transport to the station and time in custody, and quoted an "anonymous law enforcement source", and published four pages of a handwritten arrest report, via a PDF file. TMZ stated that the documents they posted were part of the original eight-page report which was written by the arresting officer, before the officer was allegedly instructed, by his superiors, to omit the inflammatory details about Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic comments and behavior.

On November 7, 2006, TMZ.com was the first to report that pop-singer Britney Spears had filed a petition for divorce from then-husband Kevin Federline.

On May 3, 2007, TMZ was the first to break the story, and exclusively obtain documents, stating that socialite Paris Hilton would be sentenced to forty-five days in jail as her sentencing for driving with a suspended license after losing her license from driving under the influence of alcohol four months prior.

On February 22, 2009, TMZ released what has been identified as a police evidence photo of pop-singer Rihanna after she was assaulted by now ex-partner Chris Brown. Shortly after the photo's release, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced that it was investigating the leak and 'possible sale of the photo of Rihanna with a bruised and battered face after TMZ published them because the photo had been considered evidence. TMZ has claimed it obtained the photo legally but has not said how it came into possession of the photo. In the aftermath of the release of the photo, in May of the same year, a 'law', referred to as 'Rihanna Law', entitled "STOParazzi", was made The 'law'; because of the "spurred" release of the photo, aims to prevent victim exploitation.

On February 24, 2009, TMZ.com was the first to break the story that, out of the $1.6 billion Chicago's Northern Trust Bank received in federal bailout money (which they never requested and were hesitant to accept ), recipients of the money subsequently spent non-TARP dollars (dollars that were already allocated for the Northern Trust Open prior to the Capital Purchse Program ) entertaining clients in Los Angeles at venues like the House of Blues that featured performances by Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, and Sheryl Crow and gift bags from Tiffany & Co. Shortly after TMZ.com published the story, United States Congressman Barney Frank demanded that Northern Trust repay the money it received in the bailout. Northern Trust CEO Frederick Waddell sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Committee, stating that the bank will repay the money "as quickly as prudently possible", although at the time Congress had not yet provided provisions for the repayment of TARP funds, thus delaying the process. When Northern Trust was finally allowed to repay the TARP money on June 17, 2009, taxpayers received a 14% return on the investment, beating all major market indices over the same time period.

TMZ was the first to break the report of the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. The report was treated with caution by mainstream media sources at the time, despite being cited on rolling news channels. TMZ's scoop beat the major broadcast and cable news outlets by almost 3 hours, until CNN finally confirmed the story as well. Part of this delay was later explained as the other outlets' "stricter confirmation standards," but Levin said, during an interview with Huffington Post, that TMZ.com, at the time of posting the subject, verified the story and sources. "Well, before it was officially announced. We really knew this significantly before even what was going on, but this was, you know, crossing every t. We were positive when we put it up. We put it up when we were 100% positive." TMZ were also the first to receive the coroner's report of the singer on February 8, 2010, proving Propofol dosage and negligence killed the pop legend.

TMZ was also the first to break the news of the death of Brittany Murphy on December 20, 2009.

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