Case involving actor and comedian Kevin Hart and a 2017 sex tape will head to trial after his motion for an overview judgment was denied.
Montia Sabbag is suing Hart, alleging he was aware that their encounter in a NEVADA hotel room had been secretly filmed and he used the scandal as publicity to market his career.
In accordance with court papers obtained by Newsweek, Sabbag said she saw Hart “adjust” a mirror in the area ahead of them being intimate, suggesting “Hart knew there is a camera pointing towards the mirror.”
Hart previously addressed the affair with Sabbag, posting a public apology video on Instagram in September 2017. The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star said in the video he “won’t allow you to definitely have profit” from his mistakes.
On August 19, 2022, Hart’s legal team’s motion to dismiss Sabbag’s case was denied by California Superior Court Judge Shirley K. Watkins.
Sabbag had also accused Hart’s former associate Jonathan “JT” Jackson to be involved. The Jackson legal team’s motion for an overview judgment was granted in its entirety by Watkins as there have been no “triable issues of material fact” associated with him, meaning the case against him was dismissed.
On six conditions that Hart’s team requested an overview adjudication on, four counts were denied and two were granted. An effort of the civil case is scheduled for October 17, 2022.
Sabbag’s declaration, cited in the ruling, states that Hart “moved or adjusted” the mirror in his bedroom before the pair “sex.”
“The Video seems to indicate that these devices that recorded the Video was put into front of the bed in Hart’s bedroom where we were sex and that the recording device appeared to be reflecting off the mirror in Hart’s bedroom; exactly the same mirror I observed Hart move/adjust before us participating in intercourse,” Sabbag’s statement read.
The court discovered that this did develop a “reasonable inference concerning whether defendant Hart knew there is a camera pointing toward the mirror and if the adjustment of the mirror was for the purposes of recording, or whether he knew there is a camera there.”
It continued: “This evidence conflicts with the declaration of Hart he did not find out about the camera or recording and had not been mixed up in recording, He also will not deny he adjusted the mirror.”
The judge figured there is “a triable problem of material fact concerning whether defendant Hart knew there is a camera recording based on the declaration of plaintiff [Sabbag] … and the video itself.”
Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Jackson on the tape in 2018 but they were later dismissed. At that time, Hart posted a video message on Instagram commenting on what “happy” he was that his “friend” was cleared. “This message is approximately shifting. It’s over, and I’m happy that it is over,” he said.
“There is much media attention directed at the allegations made against Mr. Jackson, and today the criminal and civil actions are finally over and dismissed in Mr. Jackson’s favor,” Jackson’s attorney Daniel L. Reback, of regulations firm Nemecek & Cole, told Newsweek.
In September 2019, Sabbag sued Hart for $60 million in damages for alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and invasion of privacy, in accordance with court papers obtained by People in those days.
Sabbag alleged Hart knew their illicit encounter had been recorded and that Hart used the next scandal for publicity to market his “Irresponsible Tour” standup show “also to increase his overall pop culture status.”
In September 2017, Sabbag came forward because the woman in the leaked sex tape at a press conference and stated that she actually is “no extortionist” and had “nothing in connection with these recordings.”
Newsweek has contacted the legal representatives of Hart, Sabbag and Jackson for further comment.