Kevin Hart’s alleged cheating and extortion scandal, explained – Washington Post

 In Entertainment

Kevin Hart on Aug. 3. (Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

Kevin Hart enjoyed pretty good press last month as he was publicizing his new book and calling on fellow celebrities to donate loads of cash to relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey. But now the megawatt spotlight is back on Hart, with some pretty unsavory story lines.

Late Saturday, Hart posted a somewhat cryptic video on Instagram saying he “made a bad error in judgement and put myself in an environment where only bad things can happen, and they did.” He went on to say he’s apologized to his kids and wife, Eniko Parrish, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child together.

“I simply got to do better, but I’m also not going to allow a person to have financial gain over my mistakes,” Hart said. “In this particular situation, that’s what was attempted, and I said I’d rather fess up to my mistakes.”

A representative for Hart said in a statement to People that “someone tried to set Kevin up in a failed extortion attempt. As law enforcement is involved, we cannot comment further as it could affect the investigation.”

Here’s what you need to know to understand what’s going on:

Hart’s Instagram post

“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,” Hart said in the video, not directly addressing extortion allegations. “And recently, I didn’t. 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 judgement and put myself in an environment where only bad things can happen, and they did. And in doing that, I know I’m going to hurt the people closest to me.”

The details that then emerged

Soon after Hart’s video went live, TMZ was out with a report that “a woman has allegedly demanded money from Kevin” with a video showing him and a woman engaged in “sexually suggestive” conduct. The outlet wrote that Hart’s Instagram confession was him “getting out in front of a messy situation.”

TMZ, which has been following the saga closely, followed up with a report that said an anonymous person demanded millions of dollars in exchange for keeping the video private. But the outlet, citing law enforcement sources, wrote that it’s unclear whether the woman in the video or another person made the alleged demand.

On Tuesday, the outlet published a blurry still frame that is purportedly from the video in question.

Cheating rumors that bubbled up over the summer

This all followed a summer when celebrity gossip sites ran stories about Hart possibly cheating on his pregnant wife — including a blurry photos showing a man and a woman cozying up in a car.

Hart posted this on Instagram about the same time, seemingly addressing the rumors:

A public back-and-forth between his former wife and current wife

Those cheating rumors eventually died down. And then on her wedding anniversary, Parrish posted a tribute to Hart — which then caused its own mini-controversy.

“I love you every day,” she wrote. “8 years together.. 1 year married.. Forever to go!”

But Hart separated from first wife, Torrei Hart, in February 2010, and the two divorced in 2011 — and that timeline caused a stir on social media, even prompting a back-and-forth between the two women on social media.

Parrish, in now-deleted comments on Instagram, wrote that “their marriage was broken way before I came in the picture. They were separated, living in separate homes. I was never a secret. She knew that as well. Don’t believe the hype.”

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