As a comedian, Kevin Hart wasn’t afraid to work blue, but he wasn’t really known for it. The comic and actor built a reputation as friendly, family man who beat the odds in Hollywood. Now, that reputation has come crashing down around him, and Hart is facing the consequences of not bending to what he calls “extortion.”
The incident stems from a night out drinking and partying in which Hart was, unbeknownst to him, photographed and videoed in several compromising situations with women who were not his wife. Not long ago, Hart says he was contacted by someone who said she had an “intimate relationship” with Hart, had evidence to prove it, and she would go public with that evidence if Hart didn’t pay up. At least, that’s the initial story that’s come out … along with a series of apologies from Hart, both to his family and his fans.
Montia Sabbag’s Side of the Story
The woman in question, Montia Sabbag, spins a different tale. She claims she had no idea she was being photographed with the actor in a compromising way, and that she has nothing to do with the extortion attempts. In a public statement about the incident, Sabbag said: “I’m a recording artist and an actress. I’ve not broken any laws. I had nothing to do with these recordings.”
Hart has yet to respond to those statements because he is busy making his own. The actor posted an apology video to his Instagram account recently, offering an open letter apology to his pregnant wife, Eniko Parrish, as well as his kids from a previous marriage. In the message, Hart admits making “a bad error in judgment” and said he is, “…at a place in my life where I feel I have a target on my back… I should make smart decisions, and, recently, I didn’t.”
So, fans wondered, is he apologizing for the incident. Or is he apologizing for getting caught? That question is the key one Hart will have to answer as he attempts to rebuild his reputation. Did he really make a mistake by doing what he did? Or, in his mind, was the error that he wasn’t careful enough?
Kevin Responds to the Allegations
While it’s certain he’s having that conversation with his family, fans may have to wait for that answer. Hart, instead, went right after the people he claims are trying to “extort” him by using the information he recently went public with. “I’m not going to allow a person to have financial gain off my mistakes, and in this particular situation that was what was attempted… I said I’d rather fess up to my mistakes…”
So far, while Hart has not said he’s certain about who is “extorting” him, most of the stories seem to name Sabbag as, at least one of, the attempted blackmailers. Montia is having none of that: “My name and my picture have been released and lies written about me…” Hart says he’s telling it true. Sabbag says she’s also a victim. At this point, without further evidence, it comes down to “who do you believe?”
Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of NY-based 5W Public Relations (5WPR), a top 20 independently owned PR agency in the United States which has been honored as an American Business Awards PR Agency of the Year.