Kevin Hart is fighting back against the $60 million lawsuit filed against him in connection with a 2017 sex tape scandal, calling the suit “baseless” in recently filed court documents.
Hart’s sex tape partner, Montia Sabbag, filed the suit earlier this year against the Philly-born comic and a list of defendants that included former friend Jonathan Todd Jackson, Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan hotel, and a website known as Fameolous. In the suit, Sabbag claims that the various defendants recorded a sexual encounter between herself and Hart and released it online without her knowledge or consent.
Sabbag’s original complaint in the case, however, was dismissed in September over technical legal issues, and she later refiled. That amended complaint was also dismissed, and Sabbag was given until Nov. 8 to file a second amended complaint. Instead, through her lawyers, Sabbag asked for an extension, and claimed that her attorneys had engaged in “resolution talks” with “some of the served Defendants,” indicating that a settlement in the case was possible.
“These Resolution Talks had been seemingly fruitful and were being discussed between the various parties with an open mind and willingness to see if resolution was possible in the early stages of litigation,” Sabbag’s motion read. The motion later asked that her deadline to file a second amended complaint be extended to Dec. 12.
In response, however, Hart filed documents indicating that he and his council were “not a party to any such settlement discussions” and had “no recent communication” with Sabbag or her attorneys about settling the case. Hart also asked that Sabbag’s request for an extension be stricken from court records.
“Most litigation involves settlement discussions at some point, but Plaintiff can cite to no authority for the proposition that supposed progress in such discussions is automatic grounds for delay. It is not,” Hart’s response read. “Plaintiff is improperly attempting to drag out the litigation in order to delay the inevitable determination that her claims are, in fact, baseless.”
Sabbag’s suit seeks $60 million in damages from Hart and his fellow defendants due to issues including invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. In her original filing, Sabbag claimed that she “continues to suffer from substantial emotional distress on a daily basis” over the sex tape and the scandal that ensued.
She added that Hart allegedly conspired with Jackson, and knew their sexual encounter was being filmed. Hart, Sabbag claimed, planned to use publicity from the scandal to “promote his Irresponsible Tour” for “tremendous financial benefit for himself.”
Hart’s response to the suit comes amid the comic’s initial return to the public eye following a car crash earlier this year that left him with severe injuries to his back. The Philly-born comedian this week attended at the E! People’s Choice Awards, where he accepted an honor in his first public appearance since the crash.
“First and foremost, thank God because I definitely don’t have to be here," Hart said at the ceremony. “Being that I am, it makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate the things that really matter: family. I want to thank my wife and kids, who really stepped up to the plate for me.”