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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam - Owner of a broken Hart

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There’s a lot of unseemly stuff that goes on in the celebrity realm. The truth is that famous people often say and do things that are, well … not nice. They get involved in situations that they maybe shouldn’t get involved in – situations that can lead to people getting hurt.

Now, most of the time, these words and deeds and situations never make their way into the public eye. So much of the unsavoriness that comes along with traveling in these particular circles remains unknown to us, unfolding totally outside our purview. But occasionally, one of these secrets comes to the surface – maybe by accident, maybe by deliberate machination – and we get a much clearer sense of who these people really are.

This brings us to Kevin Hart’s sex tape.

You may remember a while back when word got out that there was a Kevin Hart sex tape floating around out there. Word got out because a mysterious someone was trying to extort Hart by threatening to release the tape – which featured Hart and a woman who is very much not his wife – into the public eye.

Hart, to his credit, refused to pay up and instead cooperated with the FBI investigation. He also did the whole apologize to his family thing, which, whatever – you shouldn’t be blackmailed but you also shouldn’t cheat on your wife (who just so happened to be pregnant at the time). So yeah, Hart’s a scumbag, but that doesn’t give someone else the right to illicitly profit from said scumbaggery.

A number of people figured Montia Sabbag – the other party in the tape – was the extortionist. She maintained her innocence throughout and cooperated fully with law enforcement officials; the recent arrest of a suspect would seem to fully vindicate her.

Jonathan Todd Jackson – who goes by J.T. – was arrested and faces felony counts of attempted extortion and extortion by threatening letter. Jackson has been a longtime friend of Hart’s; the two have been pals for 15 years. Hart even got Jackson a lot of acting work through the use of his own celebrity, even going so far as to simply show up on commercial sets and demand that Jackson be given significant roles.

Probably safe to say Hart won’t be helping the guy get work from here on out.

Look, there’s a long history of sex tapes in Hollywood. And while it’s easy to forget – thanks to certain reality stars building global brands atop foundations of sex tape shenanigans – the reality is that these kinds of things can really do damage to a career. Not nearly as much as they used to, thanks to a general normalization, but still – it’s rarely a good look.

To have something like that completely out of your control – to know that someone out there has something so intimate and can instantly send it out into the world if you don’t accede to their wishes? That’s obviously got to be difficult.

Plus, there’s the whole close friend aspect of things. The sense of betrayal that something like this would elicit, the notion that someone you trusted and cared about was willing to take advantage of you in such a hurtful, deceitful manner … it has to be heartbreaking (Hart-breaking, if you will).

And yet, it’s kind of difficult to have a ton of sympathy for Hart. It definitely sucks that someone would exploit him so baldly and graphically, but if he had just managed to NOT CHEAT ON HIS WIFE, none of this would be a problem. If he could have simply not committed adultery, there would be no tape. No tape means no extortion. And no extortion means no problem. It’s that simple.

Obviously, no one here is implying that what Jackson did is somehow OK. We’re not saying that all of this is somehow a just punishment for Hart’s inability to keep it in his pants. Hollywood has seen a whole lot of violations of trust over the years; this is one of the bigger ones.

Trust is a fickle thing. And sadly, situations like this essentially shatter that trust for all involved. Hart has been betrayed – can he ever put faith in a friend again? Meanwhile, his family has been betrayed and will struggle to place any trust in him going forward.

But again – he did make his bed. Time to lie in it.


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