Kevin Hart references sex tape extortion scandal as ‘the mistake’

Kevin Hart at the South African premiere of his new film, ‘Die Hart: The Movie’. Picture: Supplied

Kevin Hart at the South African premiere of his new film, ‘Die Hart: The Movie’. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 21, 2023


Kevin Hart referenced his sex tape extortion scandal that nearly ended his marriage while chatting about the importance of family.

The “Get Hard” actor, 43, was sued in 2019 for $60-million by a woman named Montia Sabbag who claimed she had sex with the comedian in 2017 and it was secretly recorded by his friend Jonathan Todd Jackson – and even though Hart strongly denied ever facilitating a recording, he issued an apology for cheating on his wife Eniko Parrish, 38, who gave birth to a son the same year.

He said during an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Suzanne Vranica at Journal House during the Cannes Lions Festival on Tuesday: “There was a time when I doubled down on family. Why?

“Well, I have a lot of brands that love the idea of family. Let me show family on a global scale.”

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Appearing to call the sex extortion scandal “the mistake”, the stand-up and actor added: “There was a time when I focused on marriage and the household.

“There was a time when I focused on the idea of the mistake and it happening and being okay with the recovery. Why? Because it’s human.”

Hart has son Kenzo, five, and two-year-old daughter Kaori with Parrish, and daughter Heaven, 18, and son Hendrix, 15, with his 45-year-old first wife Torrei Hart.

Hart said on social media at the time of his scandal: “I’m at a place in my life where I feel like I have a target on my back and because of that I should make smart decisions. And recently, I didn’t.

“You know, I’m not perfect. I’m not going to sit up here and say that I am or claim to be in any way shape or form.

“And I made a bad error in judgment and I put myself in a bad environment where only bad things can happen and they did.”

The dad-of-four added his actions had “hurt the people closest to him” but he said he refused to “allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes and in this particular situation that was what was attempted”.

He added: “I’d rather fess up to my mistakes.”

Jackson was previously charged with two counts of extortion in regard to the tape but denied ever extorting Hart, while Sabbag’s lawsuit was eventually dismissed twice.