A former friend of Kevin Hart’s is no longer facing an extortion charge in connection with the comic’s 2017 sex tape scandal, but he still faces additional charges in the case.
Prosecutors at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office last week moved to dismiss a count of extortion by threatening letter against actor Jonathan Todd “J.T.” Jackson, The Wrap reports. A representative from the office told the publication that upon reviewing the case, evidence was not sufficient to pursue a conviction on the charge because a demand for money was not made to Hart directly.
Following news of the scandal breaking in 2017, Hart posted a video on his Instagram account apologizing to his wife, Eniko, for his infidelity with sex tape partner Montia Sabbag. Authorities alleged that in the comments section of the post, Jackson issued a threat that Hart should “give me $5 million or I’m releasing the video.”
“I put myself in a bad environment where only bad things can happen, and they did,” Hart said in the video. “And in doing that, I know that I’m going to hurt the people closest to me, who I talked to and apologized to. That would be my wife and kids.”
However, now the DA says that because the alleged statement was a public comment, it could not be considered a direct message targeted at Hart, which doesn’t fit the bill for extortion.
Jackson had been charged with extortion in the case in May last year, and pleaded not guilty in September, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Despite prosecutors dropping that charge, Jackson is still on the hook for felonies including attempted concealing and selling stolen property, as well as two counts of unauthorized use of personal identifying information in connection with the case.