Jonathan Todd “J.T.” Jackson is Kevin Hart’s former friend who was accused of extortion in 2018 after a sex tape allegedly featuring the comedian surfaced. Prior to the extortion case, Jackson, a native of University City, Missouri, had been considered a well-connected member of Hart’s entourage.
The sex tape had been filmed in August 2017 in Las Vegas. The woman in the video later identified herself as Montia Sabbag.
The incident and the fallout are covered in Hart’s 2019 Netflix documentary, “Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up.” Jackson is not named in the film.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hart Said He Was in ‘Complete Disbelief’ When Jackson Was Charged in the Extortion Case
At the time Jackson was formally charged in the case in May 2018 with sending a threatening letter and of extortion, Hart tweeted his disbelief. Hart wrote on Twitter, “Mind blown…Hurt…at a lost for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW.” Jackson had been accused of releasing a video teaser for the sex tape.
The extortion charges against Jackson were dropped in October 2019. Jackson celebrated the dropping of those charges in an Instagram post that showed a screenshot of headline around the story. Jackson wrote in the caption, “I’ll just leave this right here. No plea deals no nothing.” Jackson goes on to say that he was framed for the crime.
At the time of writing, Jackson is still facing charges of unauthorized use of personal identifying information and concealing and selling stolen property. During the ordeal, Jackson has maintained his innocence. His lawyer, Jacob Glucksman, said that Jackson was the victim of an aggressive district attorney who wanted to make the most out of a celebrity case, according to Yahoo News.
One of JT Jackon’s Defenders Was ‘Criminal Minds’ Star Shemar Moore
“Criminal Minds” star Shemar Moore commented on one of Jackson’s Instagram posts around the time of the arrest. Moore wrote, via The Root, “Maaaaan…. CLEAR YOUR NAME HOMIE!!!! You ain’t do this s**t this to Kevin. TALK TO EACH OTHER!!!!” Jackson starred in a 2017 episode of Moore’s CBS show, “SWAT,” according to Jackson’s IMDb page.
JT Jackson & Kevin Hart Met in 2003 When Jackson Was a Spokesman for Bacardi
In a 2014 interview with Regal Mag, Jackson said that he first met Kevin Hart around 2003 when Jackson was a spokesman for Bacardi rum. Jackson told the magazine that Hart was a big supporter of his career. Jackson says Hart told him, “Don’t ever give up if you’re talented. You’re gonna go through ups and downs [just] stick with it.”
During the interview, Jackson complained that there were few acting roles that suited him in Hollywood and that he would have to write his own material. Jackson said, “To be like the Redd Foxxes and Chris Tuckers and all that, I really feel that I will be there, [but] the only way I’ma get there is by doing my own thing. I’m not gonna get it through Hollywood, because they’re not writing the stuff for me to make it in that light.”
At the age of 18, Jackson, a native of the St. Louis-area enlisted in the U.S. Navy, he told Regal Mag. Jackson said that he purposely got stationed in California so that he could further his acting career.
Jackson Is a Professional Bowler Having First Competed in 2005
According to his PBA profile, Jackson lives in Sherman Oaks, California. Jackson has not competed since 2016 having made his first appearance in 2005. Jackson has earned a little over $3,000 in career earnings.
In 2013, Hart Demanded That Jackson Be Given a Starring Role in a Coke Zero Commercial
Shortly after Jackson’s arrest, TMZ reported that Hart had often taken a central role in his former friend’s career. The site said that in 2013, as Hart was preparing to shoot a commercial for Coke Zero, the “Ride Along” star showed up on the day of filming and demanded that Jackson be given one of the principal roles in the commercial. TMZ says that this came with no prior warning and the shoot had to be rearranged to accommodate Jackson.
CBS News reports that in 2016, Jackson went on a rant on his Instagram page asking people to stop trying to connect with Hart.