Page Six reports the verbal altercation happened about a week and a half ago when the two appeared on “TMZ Live” together and had some form of disagreement revolved around politics. The footage of the two arguing wasn’t published, but sources say the topic has become an issue between them.
Sources say Lathan confronted Babcock in the newsroom after the segment ended and allegedly told him there would be trouble if he “ever embarrassed [Lathan] like that again.” People close to the incident say Lathan met with TMZ’s legal team, and he was suspended, then a few days later, he was let go, Page Six reports. One insider explained TMZ’s heads often use the site’s high-pressure work environment to stir up employees and pit them against one another in order to get high ratings. “Van’s not mean-spirited. Anything that happened is a product of that environment,” said an insider.
Sources went on to defend Lathan, saying he has been a huge part of TMZ’s success over the past few years, and they were shocked to see he was fired over the incident. Lathan, Babcock, nor TMZ have commented. But Lathan tweeted in response to the news making headlines, saying, “I’m okay. Promise you guys. Seriously,” Lathan wrote about the argument.