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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam (09/20/2017)

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Hart breaker

For the most part, the stuff we talk about in this space is relatively low-key. Famous people say something stupid and people get mad. Maybe two famous people say stupid stuff to each other and they both get mad while the rest of us munch on popcorn and enjoy the show.

But sometimes, we get something that is just wildly out of control. Something next level that promises to be discussed in celebrity news circles for weeks on end. Something that could potentially be recognized by actual non-celebrity news outlets.

Something like this Kevin Hart suggestive sexytime video extortion thing.

For those who haven’t heard, the diminutive comedian took to Instagram over the weekend in an effort to get in front of what was apparently a snowballing scandal. In the video, he apologized to his wife Eniko (who is very pregnant) and his kids, stating that he had recently made some mistakes that he deeply regretted.

Those mistakes apparently include getting recorded as he got up close and personal with a young lady in a club, followed by some footage of a bed where you hear creaking but don’t see anyone. Finally, there’s a bit where two people – one of whom COULD be Hart – milling around a room in various states of undress.

The unknown person or persons with the tape allegedly attempted to extort Hart, demanding a massive payment from the comedian in order to prevent the tape’s release. They have also reached out to various media outlets asking for as much as $15 million. The FBI is currently investigating the situation.

Meanwhile, a person of interest in the case – some sort of traveling stripper named Montia Sabbag who appears at the video’s beginning – has offered to take a polygraph … for a price. According to reports, the woman claims she had nothing to do with the recording of the video, but immediately lawyered up upon being contacted by Hart’s people and stated that she’d take a lie detector test, but only if she was paid $420,000.

All in all, not a great time to be Kevin Hart.

While there hasn’t been much in the way of official confirmation with regards to the authenticity of certain parts of this video, the vehemence with which Hart has gone after the culprits would seem to indicate that some untoward stuff happened. Maybe not full-blown sex tape stuff, but stuff.

If we assume there’s some fire with this smoke, it’s hard to sympathize with Hart here. He’s a married man, after all. He certainly shouldn’t be partying with traveling strippers and goofing around with ladies on his lap at the club. He’s got a pregnant wife at home. He’s got young kids.

Sure, the temptations that come with being rich and famous are undoubtedly significant. That’s no excuse. It’s never an excuse. There are plenty of folks out there who are even richer and far more famous who have zero problem maintaining their fidelity.

(All that leaves aside the baseline idiocy of allowing yourself to be filmed in flagrante delicto. You’ve been a star for a while now, Kevin. This is a rookie mistake.)

Still, he probably doesn’t deserve all of this. While we’re not against public shaming per se, we do feel like this might be a bridge too far. Particularly when it looks more and more like someone essentially set a trap for Hart with the specific intention of shaking him (or someone) down for money.

Yeah, yeah – the person peddling the video paid some lip service to wanting to show the world that Hart wasn’t a good guy, even going so far as to claim that his recent hurricane relief work was actually intended to soften the blow of this story when it eventually landed. But you don’t get to cling to your faux-nobility when you’re angling for someone to cut a check with a bunch of zeroes on it. Sorry – you’re a scumbag.

In the end, however, Kevin Hart put himself in this position. If he had simply behaved faithfully and stayed true to his family, he wouldn’t be in this situation. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems, but he definitely seems willing to admit to at least some degree of wrongdoing.

You’re better than this, Kevin Hart. You really sold yourself short.


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