The felony extortion charge against Kevin Hart’s friend J.T. Jackson has been dropped.
The married Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star hit the headlines in August 2017 after he was caught on camera in a compromising situation with another woman while partying in Las Vegas.
Jackson, who was a close pal of the actor, later came under fire when he posted “Give me $5 Million or I’m releasing the video” in the public comments section of Hart’s Instagram apology post – leading to him being arrested and charged with attempted extortion and extortion by threatening letter last May (18).
“Mind blown…,” he tweeted shortly after the news was reported. “Hurt…at a lost for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW”.
However, the case against the part-time actor was dropped on Friday (27Sep19), with the Los Angeles District Attorney (DA) filing documents explaining that prosecutor’s did not have evidence to convict Jackson with the criminal charge.
The DA claimed that, after reviewing “thousands of public comments made to Mr. Hart’s Instagram post”, they realised the threat was actually one of the comments, and therefore showed no “proof of specific intent”.
Jackson’s legal team also claimed the case changed several times during the investigation, from “extortion related emails” to a “spam email sent eight months after the sex tape was made demanding bitcoins”, further suggesting there was no case against him.
His lawyers told The Blast: “Jackson never extorted or attempted to extort Hart and his name has been wrongfully dragged through the mud in an attempt to shift blame from Hart’s infidelities in order to make him out to be some sort of a victim here.”
However, Jackson is still facing several felony charges relating to the sex tape scandal, including “unauthorised use of personal identifying information” of Hart with the “purpose of invasion of privacy and international interference with prospective economic advantage”.
He is also accused of “attempted concealing, selling, and withholding of stolen property exceeding $950 (£773) in value,” specifically “surreptitious-recorded images and audio of Kevin Hart knowing the property to be stolen or obtained unlawfully”.
The case is ongoing.