LOS ANGELES (CN) – Prosecutors in Los Angeles on Wednesday charged a man they say tried to extort money from comedian Kevin Hart by threatening to sell a sexually suggestive video of him with a woman in Las Vegas to celebrity news websites.
Jonathan Todd Jackson tried to extort an undisclosed amount of money from Hart between Aug. 25 and Aug. 30, 2017, according to the LA County District Attorney’s Office. Jackson recorded a video of Hart with a woman who is not his wife in Las Vegas in 2017. Jackson then tried to sell the recording to numerous celebrity news and gossip websites, prosecutors say.
Jackson, also known as Action Jackson and J.T., faces charges of attempted extortion and extortion by threatening letter. He was arraigned Wednesday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown LA.
In September 2017, Montia Sabbag held a news conference in which she acknowledged being the woman in the video and to having a sexual relationship with Hart. Sabbag denied any involvement in the extortion plot.
Her attorney Lisa Bloom said on Twitter she and Sabbag are “delighted that the alleged extortionist is being brought to justice.”
Bloom said, “As a crime victim in this case, Montia has fully cooperated with the police since the beginning.”
Hart said on Twitter Wednesday, “Mind blown…Hurt…at a lost (sic) for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW.”
Hart posted a video on his Instagram page after news of the video surfaced, apologizing to his wife Eniko Parrish, who was pregnant at the time, and his children. He alluded to an extortion attempt in the video.
“I’m not going to allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes and in this particular situation, that’s what was attempted,” Hart went on to say. “I said, ‘I’d rather fess up to my mistakes.’”
Hart’s new film “Night School,” starring actress Tiffany Haddish, is set to be released in September.
Prosecutors recommended bail be set at $100,000. If convicted as charged, Jackson faces up to four years in county jail.
Deputy District Attorney Rouman Ebrahim of the cybercrimes division is prosecuting the case.
The case remains under investigation by the DA.