CANNES — Kevin Hart vaguely alluded to his sex tape extortion scandal that nearly ended his marriage to Eniko Parrish while giving a talk at the Cannes Lions Festival Tuesday.
The Hartbeat founder explained that he has not only changed as a person, but also how the “ecosystem of Kevin Hart” has evolved over the years.
“There was a time when I doubled down on family. Why? Well, I have a lot of brands that love the idea of family. Let me show family on a global scale,” Hart said while in conversation with the Wall Street Journal’s Suzanne Vranica at Journal House during the Cannes Lions Festival Tuesday.
“There was a time when I focused on marriage and the household. There was a time when I focused on the idea of the mistake and it happening and being OK with the recovery,” he continued.
“Why? Because it’s human.”
In 2019, the “Get Hard” star was sued for $60 million by a woman named Montia Sabbag who claimed she had sex with the comedian in 2017 and it was secretly recorded by his friend Jonathan Todd Jackson.
Hart, 43, vehemently denied ever facilitating a recording, but issued an apology for cheating on wife Parrish, who gave birth to a son that same year.
“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,” he shared on social media at the time.
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“You know, I’m not perfect. I’m not going to sit up here and say that I am or claim to be in any way shape or form. And I made a bad error in judgment and I put myself in a bad environment where only bad things can happen and they did.”
The actor-turned-executive admitted he “hurt the people closest to him” — his wife and his children — but refused to “allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes and in this particular situation that was what was attempted.”
He added, “I’d rather fess up to my mistakes.”
Jackson was previously charged with two counts of extortion in regard to the tape but denied ever extorting Hart.
Sabbag’s lawsuit was eventually dismissed twice.
Hart shares son Kenzo, 5, and daughter Kaori, 2, with Parrish, 38.
He also shares daughter Heaven, 18, and son Hendrix, 15, with his ex-wife, Torrei Hart.
While he battled the lawsuit, he also had to recover from a near-fatal car crash that fractured his spine in three places after his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda veered off winding Mulholland Highway, crashed through a wooden fence, and plunged down a gully.
Hart’s friend Jared Black was behind the wheel while Black’s then-fiancée, Rebecca Broxterman, was in the backseat with the “Jumanji” star.
The betrothed couple lawyered up shortly after the crash, arguing that his classic car did not have proper safety harnesses or airbags.