Video has emerged that finally explains why Van Lathan was fired from TMZ. When it was first reported that two of the sites staffers had gotten into a nasty confrontation but only Lathan was let go folks were scratching their heads.
Now it seems Lathan may have done more than just exchange words with his co-worker Michael Babcock … he put them paws on him. Initially it was reported that TMZ deleted the argument from it’s TV telecast but apparently a TMZ superfan” got their hands on the footage and posted video of the incident.
— David Thielen (@DavidThielen1) October 22, 2019
In the clip, Lathan — who shot to fame last year when he confronted Kanye West over the rapper’s claim that slavery was a “choice” — approaches a seated Babcock from behind and begins to speak into his ear.
Babcock appears to try to push Lathan’s hands away, and at one point Lathan appears to apply some light pressure to Babcock’s neck. When Babcock follows Lathan out of the frame, the show appears to cut abruptly to a Skype interview.
To be fair Lathan didn’t strike Babcock and doesn’t appear to be disgruntled or violent in the video. He did appear to apply a tight grip to his neck as he spoke directly into his ear.
As for what was said, Lathan reportedly told Babcock there would be trouble between them if he “ever embarrassed [Lathan] like that again.”
The altercation went down on October 8 while Babcock was on air for TMZ’s daily show. Before the show the two were discussing those photos of Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a football game and things got heated.
Following his termination Lathan Tweeted: I’m Okay. Promise you guys. Seriously.”
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