Comedian Kevin Hart, a PokerStars ambassador and Las Vegas performing mainstay, is fighting back against an alleged extortion attempt by a person who obtained video of the actor behaving inappropriately with a woman in a hotel suite in Sin City.
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, and for the married Hart, whose second wife Eniko Parrish is pregnant with the couple’s first child (but Hart’s third), he’s learning that the hard way.
In an emotional Instagram post on September 17, Hart told his followers, “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.”
While the social media clip begins apologeticly, it quickly takes a defensive tone. “I’m not going to allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes, and in this particular situation that was what was attempted,” he stated.
According to reports, the video in question isn’t a full-blown sex tape, but shows Hart in bed frolicking with another woman in what appears to be a prelude to more intimate relations.
Hart, one of the hardest and busiest working A-list stars in the business, recently hosted HartBeat Weekend over Labor Day in Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. The comedy show featured Hart and Dave Chappelle, along with a musical performance from Usher. The event raised $150,000 for charity.
He Said, She Said
Law enforcement officials, including the FBI and Las Vegas Metro police, aren’t commenting on whether they’re investigating an extortion attempt. However, the celebrity media outlet TMZ reports that an anonymous person contacted Kevin Hart and demanded a multimillion-dollar sum in exchange for not publicly releasing the video.
For Hart, a seasoned poker player, he decided to get in front of the situation and announce it publicly before it went any further.
The woman at the center of the scandal has been identified as Montia Sabbag, a rumored “traveling stripper” who goes to clubs and pays the venue a fee to entertain and take tips from patrons. Sabbag denies those claims, saying instead she’s an “aspiring actress and model.”
She also denies she’s the one who tried to extort money from Hart, and alleges that she too is a victim. Sabbag believes someone snuck video cameras into the hotel suite.
Sabbag has lawyered up with Lisa Bloom, whose mother is super-attorney Gloria Allred. Bloom is best known for leading the legal fight against accused sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly. The once-popular Fox News host was ultimately fired during the scandal.
Kevin Hart’s alleged dalliance isn’t the first time his millions of fans have seen the comedic superstar fumble.
In April of 2013, Hart was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after his Mercedes, traveling at 90 MPH, nearly collided with a tanker truck in Southern California. His breathalyzer came back almost double the legal limit at .15.
He was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty.
Despite his infidelity scandal, Hart and Parrish are moving on. The couple is reportedly planning a $117,855 baby shower in Malibu on October 1. TMZ reports that a real chimp (who are considered to be more dangerous than gorillas) will be there wearing a diaper. What could go wrong?