In 2017 it was revealed that comedian and actor Kevin Hart had cheated on his wife with a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room — and there was a tape of the encounter.
Shortly after the tape was published online in September 2017, the woman involved with Hart, Montia Sabbag, held a press conference with her then-attorney Lisa Bloom, famed daughter of feminist attorney Gloria Allred. At the press conference, Sabbag and Bloom said Hart was as much a victim as Sabbag and that she did not want money from the comedian.
“I was involved with Kevin Hart a month ago. Since then my pictures and my name have been released with lies written about me. I am not an extortionist. I am not a stripper. I am a recording artist and an actress and I have not broken any laws,” Sabbag said at the time, according to USA Today.
“Montia and I are not asking for a cent from Kevin Hart,” Bloom said, before saying Hart was himself a “victim.” “This is not about money. We are not suing him. We are not making any claims against him. Any reports to the contrary are false.”
Flash forward two years and Sabbag is now suing Hart for $60 million with a new attorney.
In May 2018, Jonathan Jackson, a now former friend of Hart’s, was charged with attempting to extort Hart using the tape. Jackson had allegedly set up the recording equipment in Hart’s hotel room and tried to sell the tape to various celebrity news websites, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Sabbag now claims Hart is partially responsible for the tape, either “negligently or intentionally,” because he “authorized, allowed, and otherwise permitted” Jackson into his hotel room, NBC reported. Hart has said he had no knowledge that Jackson planned to secretly record him and it was Hart who was extorted with the tape.
TMZ reported that Hart had been working with L.A. County district attorneys for the past two years regarding the incident. “[S]ources with first-hand knowledge” told the outlet that Hart had been working with prosecutors. The outlet suggested it would seem “odd he’d be so involved if he was secretly one of the perpetrators.”
One of TMZ’s sources told the outlet that “Kevin is working with the D.A. a lot because J.T. f**ked him over.”
Sabbag and her new attorney (her third attorney, according to TMZ) reportedly demanded for a “low six figures” payment from Hart, whose attorney rejected the demand. Sabbag and her attorney then filed the $60 million lawsuit, claiming Hart “conspired” with Jackson to advance Hart’s career even though, as TMZ reported, “even back then Kevin was one of the biggest movie stars in the world and the last thing he needed was media attention over cheating.”
Sabbag filed the lawsuit this week. Last week, Hart was released from the hospital after being involved in a major car crash that reportedly caused him three spinal fractures, requiring surgery.