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Dwayne Johnson is now legally a journalist

Wonderwall logo Wonderwall 08/06/2019 Mark Gray
Dwayne Johnson posing for the camera: Dwayne Johnson attends the Sundance Film Festival premiere of © Jason Merritt/Radarpics/REX/Shutterstock Dwayne Johnson attends the Sundance Film Festival premiere of

Dwayne Johnson has held a lot of titles in his career, and he can now legally add "journalist" to the mix.

A New York judge said The Rock's work on an HBO documentary qualified him as a reporter and journalist, according to court papers obtained by Page Six.

The legal title comes after HBO was subpoenaed by a former correctional officer who appeared in The Rock's 2017 documentary, "Rock and a Hard Place."

After the documentary was filmed, the officer was charged with several crimes, and her lawyers petitioned for outtakes from the documentary would help prove her innocence. HBO's team balked, saying the footage was protected by the Empire State's journalistic Shield Law, according to court papers. Her team, though, said that because of the Rock's involvement, it should be listed as a "celebrity reality TV show," not a "documentary entitled to protection."

Related slideshow: The business of being Dwayne Johnson (Provided by Wonderwall)

Judge Carol Edmead sided with HBO.

"The statute very broadly defines a 'professional journalist' as anyone gathering 'news intended for dissemination to the public' in some sort of professional capacity," she wrote in the ruling. "Even if the project were more entertainment-focused… [It] would still likely apply as long as one of the purposes of the project was disseminating news to the public about the youth incarceration program."

The judge added that the whole thing was akin to a fishing expedition.

"Respondent cannot argue that any information contained in Petitioner's outtakes is critical and necessary when Respondent does not know what the outtakes actually captured," she wrote. "Respondent cannot contend that her defense 'rises or falls' on the basis of footage that may not even exist."


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