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No restraining order for Kevin Hart in dispute with controversial YouTuber over ‘tell-all’ interview

A former assistant told YouTuber Tasha K that Hart cheated on his wife multiple times. The actor sued for defamation.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A Superior Court judge on Thursday declined a request by actor Kevin Hart to order a controversial YouTuber, Tasha K, to take down a video of a "tell-all" interview with his former assistant.

In the interview, Miesha Shakes told Tasha K, a popular talk show host and internet personality, that Hart had cheated on his wife a number of times and had gotten one woman pregnant. She also said that Hart had a gambling problem.

In December, Hart sued both Shakes and Tasha K, whose real name is Latasha Kebe, for defamation and extortion.

Last week, Hart filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, or TRO, and/or a preliminary injunction, asking a judge to order Tasha K to remove from her website, YouTube channel and all other online platforms the interview with Shakes, including all promotional clips "and any related content regarding Hart."

He also asked the judge to enjoin Tasha K "from further publication of the Interview, the teaser and any other related content or statements regarding Hart."

During a Thursday hearing on the motion, Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff made clear he was unimpressed with the arguments.

"I think the request is overbroad," he said. "The request is vague. I’m not sure what 'any content relating to Kevin Hart' is."

Beckloff thought the motion had "prior restraint" problems — that is, it smacked of censorship, which requires a high bar for a judge to order.

In his complaint, Hart says that in November, a month before the interview was posted online, he received a phone call from "an unidentified individual" claiming to be "affiliated with Kebe," who said that the interview would be published "unless Hart paid a ransom of $250,000."

Shortly thereafter, Kebe posted a video teaser of the interview in which she said, according to Hart's complaint, "when you don’t pay, we have to get money by any means necessary.”

The interview was eventually posted on Tasha K's website, which charges $12 for a monthly subscription.

Hart says in his complaint: "Shakes made statements during the interview that were false, including that Hart recorded a video of a sexual encounter, and that he faced criminal charges regarding that supposed incident."

That charge likely refers to a sex tape featuring Hart from 2017. A man was charged for trying to extort Hart, though charges were later dropped. The woman in the tape, Montia Sabbag, sued Hart, saying that the actor "negligently or intentionally authorized, allowed, and/or otherwise permitted" the filming of the sexual activity. The case is still pending.

Hart also claims that Shakes "disclosed purported private facts regarding Hart [and] his family members," in violation of a non-disclosure agreement — or NDA — she signed.

The judge said he couldn't decipher what the damaging and libelous revelations in the video interview supposedly were.

"Are we talking about video from 2017?" Beckloff asked. "Part of the problem I have, there's no direct quote of what occurred in this hour-and-a-half interview. There's no transcript."

"The reason the interview wasn’t included, if we included the transcript, it would be further put out into the public," explained Hart's attorney, Donte Mills. "It would make the TRO moot, because the entire transcript would be out there."

He added, by way of clarification, "Our request is specifically limited to this interview that talked about Kevin Hart being charged as a criminal, and also personnel records of Kevin Hart's employees — things covered by the NDA."

Matthew Cate, the attorney representing Tasha K's company, Yelen Entertainment, said that Shakes and Tasha K were speaking "colloquially" when they mentioned "charges" filed against Hart. He said that they were referring to Sabbag's lawsuit.

"Are we talking about the 2017 tape?" Beckloff asked.

"Yes, it’s a discussion about the 2017 tape with Mr. Hart and another woman, whether Mr. Hart filmed that or was involved in filming that," Cate answered.

The judge denied both motions. The case can still proceed, in a different courtroom, presided over by a different judge. Beckloff is assigned to writs and receivers, and hears ex parte or emergency motions in other cases.

Tasha K is no stranger to the courtroom. She was sued by rapper Cardi B for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress; a jury sided with Cardi B, and ordered Tasha K to pay $4 million in damages. In May, Tasha K filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Cardi B has accused the YouTuber of hiding money in secret offshore accounts.

Tasha K's attorneys have asked the court in the Hart lawsuit for a stay, pending the bankruptcy. Hart's attorneys have said that she isn't entitled to a stay, since the supposed extortion took place after the bankruptcy filing.

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