One of the men at the center of the alleged plot to extort money from Kevin Hart for a sex video has been criminally charged with extortion, and the comedian knows the man incredibly well.
TMZ reported that Jonathan Todd Jackson faces 2 felony counts — one for attempted extortion and another for extortion by threatening letter.
It turns out that Jonathan was actually one of Kevin's closest friends. TMZ said Kevin and Jonathan, who goes by JT, have been very close for 15 years. JT, an actor, was in "S.W.A.T." and Kevin's film "Think Like a Man Too." They've posed for photos on social media in past, too.
"Mind blown … Hurt … at a loss for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW," Kevin tweeted on May 2 after learning the identity of his alleged extortionist.
Last September, Kevin was caught in the middle of a sex scandal after he allegedly cheated on his then-pregnant wife while in Las Vegas. The video purporting to show Kevin having sex was secretly recorded last summer. Prosecutors say Jonathan tried to get money out of Kevin in return for keeping the highly-produced video secret.
TMZ reported in September that there were actually several demands to keep the tape from being released, and at one point the amount hit eight figures.
Like Kevin, the woman in the video claims she had no idea that she was being filmed.
Kevin refused to pay up, and he owned up to his mistakes, although he stopped just short of saying that he cheated on his wife, Eniko.
"I made a bad error in judgement and put myself in an environment where only bad things can happen, and they did," he said in an Instagram apology, admitting that he was "wrong."
"At the end of the day, I gotta do better," he said, "but I'm also not going to allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes, and in this particular situation, that's what was attempted."