Man charged with attempting to extort comedian Kevin Hart

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart, seen before a Philadelphia 76ers playoff game this month, was the victim of an attempted extortion by a man claiming to have a secret video of the comedian in Las Vegas, L.A. prosecutors said Wednesday.
(Associated Press)

A man has been charged with attempting to extort money from Kevin Hart after claiming to have a secret video of the comedian in Las Vegas, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jonathan Todd Jackson, who also goes by “Action Jackson,” was charged with one count of attempted extortion and one count of extortion by threatening letter, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Jackson is accused of attempting to convince Hart to give him an undisclosed amount of money in late August. Prosecutors said Jackson told Hart he had a video of the comedian “with a woman” in Las Vegas and attempted to sell the video to several celebrity news websites.

Jackson is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.


Hart and Jackson were friends at one point, said Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. The attempted extortion took place in Los Angeles, Risling said. It was not clear whether Jackson himself filmed the video in question, and Risling declined to comment further.

Hart, a celebrated stand-up comedian, most recently starred in the blockbuster remake of “Jumanji.” A representative for Hart did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday, but the comedian tweeted around the same time the district attorney’s office issued its news release that he was “hurt.”

“At a lost for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW,” Hart wrote.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.


4:20 p.m.: This article was updated to mention a tweet from Hart.

11:45 a.m.: This article was updated with additional comments from the district attorney’s office.

This article was first published at 11:15 a.m.