Kevin Hart is getting real.
The actor and comedian released a new memoir Tuesday titled I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons that is full of outrageous confessions and brutally honest tidbits about his life. Mostly dealing with his slow and steady rise to fame in the comedy world, Hart also opens up about growing up with an alcoholic and drug-addicted father as well as the hard road through his 12-year on-again, off-again relationship with his first wife.
Read on for the some of the book‘s biggest highlights.
His dad inadvertently put him in life-threatening situations
The book hilariously starts out by Hart telling readers he was conceived accidentally — and his mother Nancy was really mad at his father Henry for it. Hart then continues telling stories about his dad, who was an alcoholic and spent Hart’s early years in prison and often put him in dangerous situations when he got out.
The comedian recalls a time his dad was taking him to summer camp and dropped him off at a Catholic school instead, while another time he gave the then-8-year-old Hart command of a fishing boat only for him to immediately crash it. Hart also recalls how his father would often bring him gifts that turned out to be stolen items — one time even bringing a dog home for Hart and his brother Kenneth.
Well into adulthood, Hart would discover something else about his father, who was addicted to drugs at one point and robbed Kenneth’s barbershop. While cleaning out his mother’s house, Hart discovered that Henry had fathered several children while still married to his mom — and named almost all the boys Robert, just like his older brother.
His mom was his biggest supporter — and didn’t tell him she was dying of cancer
In deep contrast to his father, Hart’s mother was a constant source of support in his life. Though strict and unwavering, the late Nancy believed in her son and even helped pay his rent after college so he could focus on comedy. Though she never saw him perform, Nancy encouraged her son to do his best and even hid her terminal cancer from him so he wouldn’t be distracted as he filmed Fool’s Gold alongside Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in Australia.
In a heartbreaking chapter, the actor recounts learning about his mother’s illness while on set and flying back and forth from the Australian set to his mother’s bedside to be with her during her final weeks. “Stubborn as ever,” as Hart says, Nancy at first refused treatment, only checking into a hospital when Hart asked her to on his behalf. When she died, Hart recounts finding a box filled with everything he had ever done in his career — a last testament to her unwavering support.
He had an often violent relationship with his first wife
Hart is also brutally honest about his first marriage to the mother of his two children, Torrei. Meeting in Philadelphia when they were both young, the two had a long-term on-again, off-again romance that was often contentious — and involved the police being called a few times during violent fights that left Hart spending a night in jail. The actor admits in the book that he will always regret the arguments that escalated out of control and the times he cheated on her throughout their marriage and 12-year relationship, but Hart proudly says that he and Torrei have fixed their issues and are now a unified front for their children — Heaven, 12, and Hendrix, 9.
“Brick by brick, I’d built an unstable house with Torrei, one that was doomed to collapse,” Hart writes. “But the experience enabled us to build great homes afterwards for our kids, our partners and ourselves.”
From Coinage: See Where 6 Stars Were Before They Were Famous
He was arrested for a DUI — with his pants down
In the book, Hart recalls one of the lowest points of his life when he realized alcohol had become a problem. The actor was “on the freeway driving home from a club” with his then-longtime girlfriend and now wife Eniko Parrish Hart when they were pulled over while Parrish was “trying to lower my pants. I may have veered a few times outside of the lane in the process, and we got lit up,” Hart recalls.
The actor ended up being booked for a DUI while Parrish had to call a friend to take her home after she was left alone on the freeway. He later realized that the wake-up call was just what he needed after several instances of driving home while drunk, and he vowed never to do it again — hiring a driver to take him home instead when he partied a little too hard.