Rebuilding After Scandal: A Look Back at Kevin Hart and Wife Eniko's Nearly 2-Year Marriage
Eniko celebrated Hart’s 39th birthday on Friday, when she posted a loving note to her husband on Instagram, where the couple often share family photos and showcase their love.
“Happy birthday babe. There are so many words to describe you..wonderful, amazing, unique, incomparable, handsome, strong, incredibly FUNNY..u keep a smile on everyone’s face…I could go on forever…but putting a smile on your face is my number one goal today. You mean the world to me. Happy Birthday to my love! Xoxo,” she captioned a photo of the pair with their son, Kenzo, and her step-children: Hendrix, 10, and Heaven, 13.
Kevin’s happy family life comes just months after the actor was involved in a sex extortion scandal after he cheated on his then 8-months-pregnant wife.
RELATED VIDEO: Kevin Hart’s Alleged Sex Tape Extortionist Charged and Facing 4 Years in Jail
On September 16, 2017, the actor and comedian issued a deeply sentimental apology to Eniko, 33, who he’d been married to for a little over a year, tying the knot in August 2016 after a two-year engagement. In the apology, Kevin addressed the news of his encounter with model Montia Sabbag and the subsequent extortion attempts that took place, whereby the pair was recorded having sex in his Las Vegas hotel room a month prior.
“And I just, you know, it’s a s—-y moment. It’s a s—-y moment when you know you’re wrong and there’s no excuses for your wrong behavior,” Kevin said. “But I’m also not going to allow a person to have financial gain off of my mistakes […] I’d rather fess up to my mistakes,” he added.
Kevin, who shares children Heaven and Hendrix with ex-wife Torrei Hart, opened up about his affair to his wife and contacted police following the anonymous endeavor to blackmail the actor in exchange for money.
This past May, the individual at fault was revealed to be Kevin’s longtime friend Jonathan Todd “J.T.” Jackson, 41, a lesser known actor who has appeared in numerous films with Kevin, was charged by the County District Attorney’s office and held on $100,000 bail. Kevin responded in a tweet, saying he was “at a loss for words.”
Nevertheless, since the media-garnering incident, the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star and his wife have been going strong. A large part of Kevin’s heartfelt apology was devoted to “doing better” for his kids and Eniko, who gave birth to their now 7-month-old son, Kenzo Kash, in November. And almost a full year later, it appears Kevin has stayed true to his word.
Three months into Kevin’s public indiscretion, the actor spoke candidly about his mistake on the Power 105.1 FM show The Breakfast Club in December. “I’m guilty, regardless of how it happened and what was involved, the s– that I can’t talk about, I’m guilty. I’m wrong,” he said. “It’s beyond irresponsible. There’s no way around it. That’s Kevin Hart in his dumbest moment. That’s not the finest hour of my life. With that being said, you make your bed you lay in it,” he continued.
In April, Kevin starred In J. Cole’s new music video for “Kevin’s Heart” as himself during his scandal, fully owning up and coming to terms with his unfaithful past. The video depicts Kevin going through the day where news of the scandal presumably broke, getting mixed reactions of disgust and attempts at seduction by women surrounding him in a retail store, a supermarket and a restaurant. In the end, Kevin escapes to the bathroom, where a man in the stall next to him is heard saying, “Nobody’s perfect and you’re only human. Learn from it, man. Learn from it.”
A month later, Kevin posted an earnest tribute to Eniko on his Instagram for Mother’s Day along with a photo of the two with their son, captioned, “Happy Mothers Day to my amazing Beautiful wife @enikohart ….We are celebrating you & your greatness all day honey. I love u to the moon & back,” he wrote, adding the hashtags #Harts, #ForeverMyRib and #HappyMothersDay.”
Eniko has certainly stuck it out through the worst. Unwavering in the face of her wedding vows, Eniko returned to Atlanta with the actor soon after the announcement, accompanying him on the set of his new Night School film (coming out Sept. 28).
At the time, a source told PEOPLE, “She is adamant about working through it, she won’t give up on their marriage.” Following the investigation, Eniko remained stoic and cooperative with authorities. “She is standing by Kevin’s side,” said another source. “They are dealing with this together.”
With regards to Sabbag, her attorney Lisa Bloom confirmed to PEOPLE in October that while the two had been on cooperative terms throughout the investigation, they had had no direct contact since the news of extortion broke. “Right after the weekend in Las Vegas I think they had some contact, but since the extortionist came out with these images, it’s all been through attorneys,” Bloom said.
At one point, Kevin even spoke out in Eniko’s defense when his ex-wife Torrei implied that she had been the cause of their divorce in 2010, following Eniko’s controversial Instagram wedding post in 2016 where she stated the pair had been together for eight years, a stark overlap to Kevin’s prior relationship.
In her since-deleted comment, Eniko replied to a fan who pointed out the discrepancy, saying, “Their marriage was broken way before I came in the picture.. They were separated living in separate homes. I was never a secret,” and added that the cheating rumors were “spread” by Torrei “years ago [because] she wanted to play the ‘victim’ and not own up to her wrong doing as well.”
Torrei didn’t stand back, however, and explained her need to address Eniko’s comments after she mentioned her directly by name. “We have made successful strides to become a loving co parenting family, but you have now left it open for my character to be questioned. You, Kevin, and I know the truth,” she commented.
Though the actor maintains he’s been able to handle the media attention encircling his personal life, one of the most upsetting drawbacks has been the portrayal of his wife as having ended his previous marriage.
“When people try to put that s— on [Eniko] like calling her a home wrecker, that got under my skin and I had to breathe,” he said. “That title was put on her by my ex out of anger or what.”
Kevin’s movie Night School will premiere Sept. 28. He’s also currently filming the sequels for The Secret Life of Pets and Jumanji, both set to be released in 2019.