Music

Kevin Hart’s controversial moments – homophobic tweets, affair and drunk driving

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Hollywood star Kevin Hart is best known for giving us all a laugh during the dark times.

A stand-up comedian and actor, Kevin has made his name starring in movies like the revived family franchise Jumanji, comedy-horrors like the Scary Movie series, and TV shows including Modern Family.

He’s also a keen poker player, having entered – and won – major tournaments and starring in PokerStars ad campaigns alongside Olympic icon Usain Bolt.

He has spoken about his difficult past, telling how his father was addicted to drugs – and even stole Kevin’s birthday money in his childhood. His mum, meanwhile, tragically died of cancer in 2007.

But the star has also been involved in plenty of controversy – from the resurfacing of homophobic tweets and stand-up gigs to admitting to cheating on his wife.

To celebrate the star turning 42, we take a look into some of his most drama-filled moments.

Homophobic comments

Kevin initially made headlines when evidence of his homophobic tweets emerged, prompting him to step down from his gig hosting the 2019 Oscars.

Tweets from over a decade ago contained a variety of anti-gay slurs, which led to numerous calls for the star to be dropped from the hosting bill.

The tweets weren’t the only homophobic things Kevin had said – in 2010, he ‘joked’ about his son being gay in his special, Seriously Funny.

"One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people. Be happy. Do what you want to do.

"But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will."

He continued: "Every kid has a gay moment, and when it happens, you’ve gotta nip it in the bud. You gotta stop it right there. ‘Hey, stop! That’s gay! No!’"

Kevin went on to detail an anecdote about his son at a birthday party, and found another little boy "grinding" against his son.

"I didn’t know what to do, I knocked ‘em both down," he added.

He did, however, go on to say that he "wouldn’t tell that joke today" in a 2015 interview.

"When I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can," he commented.

But during an interview with Get Hard co-star Will Ferrell that same year, Hart once again found himself embroiled in homophobic controversy.

The host quizzed them: "You’re both very smart and funny people. During the filming of the movie, between the scenes where you kind of do a mockingly effeminate voice, and you gag at the sight of a d*** as if it’s the worst thing a straight guy [could experience] – did you think it was mildly mean-spirited? Or at the very least, a little bit dated?"

"I said to myself, this is funny," Kevin replied. "At the end of the day, funny is funny. When doing it, I felt that the scene called for the actions and reactions that we gave.

"For the characters we were playing, it’s what fit them. I just look for the laugh, man, and the best way to get there."

No apology

Hart initially refused to apologise for the things he’d tweeted.

In 2018, he was announced as host of the Oscars, but faced a barrage of online scrutiny for his past remarks.

In response, he posted a video to Instagram explaining that the Academy had given him an ultimatum – he either had to publicly apologise for the tweets, or step down as host.

But he refused to issue the apology.

"I passed on the apology," he said. "I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were."

But he later tweeted an apology after choosing to step down from the hosting gig.

"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars… this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing, talented artists," he wrote on social media.

"I sincerely apologise to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.

"I’m sorry that I hurt people… I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together, not tear us apart."

He added: "Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."

Kevin later established that he was "done" talking about his past.

Drunk driving

Back in 2013, Kevin was arrested for drunk driving by Los Angeles traffic police.

The comedian had been speeding at 90mph down a freeway in his black Mercedes, "weaving across traffic lanes and almost running into a gas tanker truck", according to CNN.

A statement released by the California Highway Patrol at the time read: "Mr. Hart had objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform the field sobriety tests."

He was booked into jail at the time, and later that year sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to one count of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Kevin also allegedly had a female passenger in the car with him, who was sent home in a taxi after his arrest.

Hart tweeted at the time of the incident: "When the cop asked me to take the sobriety test I said ‘WHY WASTE OUR TIME… I’M DRUNK MAN."

He continued: "This is a wake up call for me, I have to be smarter and last night I wasn’t. Everything happens for a reason."

He did refuse to joke about his behaviour, tweeting: "Drinking & driving is not a game or a laughing matter. People have lost lives because of stupid sh** [like this]."

But his claims that he completed 6,000 push-ups and 13,000 sit-ups while in jail have not been confirmed by any official source.

Adultery

Kevin has been married twice – first to Torrei Hart, whom he divorced in 2010 citing irreconcilable differences.

He retained joint custody of their two children – daughter Heaven Leigh and son Hendrix.

He later tied the knot with Eniko Parrish in 2016, but tragedy struck when Eniko was pregnant with the couples’ first child, son Kenzo Kash.

Kevin publicly admitted to cheating on his wife while she was pregnant – and the way Eniko found out was definitely not ideal.

It came as a direct video message of her husband with another woman, shared on social media in 2017, while she was having breakfast.

"I immediately just lost it," Eniko splurged in Hart’s Netflix documentary, Don’t F*** This Up.

"I called him, I’m crying, I’m just p*ssed. Right then and there, I kept saying, ‘How the f*** did you let that happen?"

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Speaking of her husband, she tearfully said: "You publicly humiliated me. Your whole everything’s on Instagram, everything’s on social media."

Kevin had laughed off the video in August 2017 before posting an Instagram video apologising to his wife and kids, for making what he called "a bad error in judgement".

The pair managed to make it through the incredibly tough period, and welcomed a second child, daughter Kaori May, in September 2020.

  • Netflix
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