A 41-year-old man nicknamed “Action Jackson” was charged Wednesday with a pair of felonies for allegedly trying to extort money from Kevin Hart by shopping a sex video of the married actor/comedian with a woman in Las Vegas last year.
Superior Court Judge Teresa Sullivan ordered Jonathan Todd Jackson, 41, to be remain behind bars in lieu of $35,000 bail and not to have any personal, telephonic or electronic contact with Hart.
Jackson — whose attorney said his client is married and has “absolutely no criminal history” — is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom May 30 for arraignment on one count each of attempted extortion and extortion by threatening letter.
Prosecutors allege that Jackson — known as “Action Jackson” — tried to extort an undisclosed amount of money from Hart last August, saying he had a videotape of the comedian carousing with a woman in Las Vegas that he also tried to peddle to various celebrity websites.
At the time of the alleged extortion attempt, Hart’s wife, Eniko, was pregnant with their first child. Hart also has two children from a previous relationship.
Hart went public after news of the videotape broke. He posted an apologetic video online, admitting he made an “error in judgment” but saying he would not give in to extortion.
“I’m at a place in my life where I feel like I have a target on my back,” Hart said on the video. “And because of that I should make smart decisions. 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 judgment and I put myself in a bad environment where only bad things can happen and they did. And in doing that I know that I’m going to hurt the people closest to me, who I’ve talked to and apologized to, that would be my wife and my kids.
“And I just, you know, it’s a (expletive) moment. It’s a (expletive) moment when you know you’re wrong and there’s no excuses for your wrong behavior,” Hart said. “At the end of the day, man, I just simply have got to do better. But I’m also not going to allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes and in this particular situation that was what was attempted. I said I’d rather fess up to my mistakes.”
Last September, a woman named Monita Sabbag held a news conference with attorney Lisa Bloom saying she was the person seen with Hart in the video. She said she had an intimate relationship with Hart, but denied any involvement in an attempt to extort money from him.
“I’m not an extortionist. I’m not a stripper,” Sabbag said. “I’m a recording artist and an actress and I have not broken any laws.”
Jackson faces up to four years in jail if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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