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Kevin Hart Reveals Cheating On His Wife Was His Dumbest Moment

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, you know the rest.

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I have never believed that cheating or adultery tells the full story of the making of a man. People cheat, there is rarely a rhyme or a reason, but there is an impulse. Some of us choose to act on it, most of us don't. I understand that, but because my father had done the same thing to my mother for years after I was born, and the honesty he gives me now in my adulthood, I understand that just because a man cheats doesn't make him a cheater. And often times, even though women are conditioned to believe that their men step out because of some inadequacy in them, darling you are never the reason he can't stay faithful. He is.

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart has made it no secret about taking ownership of his actions and what his infidelity has done to his marriage. A lot can be said about a man that owns up to his past and seeks to make a better present to ensure a better future for himself. And in a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, Kevin gives us a dose of his life since news of his cheating scandal broke, his cheating, and why his wife Eniko Hart deserves more credibility than the public opinion wishes to give her.

Given the year he has had and the headlines that have circulated heavily since he announced that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Kevin addressed the elephant in the room and broached the subject of his mistakes and his infidelity immediately.

"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… That was my f*ck up. So, I rightfully stand in front of my f*ck up, hands in the air. I'm guilty. Regardless of how it happened and what was involved and sh*t that I can't talk about – I'm guilty. I'm wrong.

Me being wrong, I'm going to face the music. I'm going to go home. I'm gonna address it. I'm gonna make my wife full aware of what's going on and the situation that I have now put us in and I'm hoping that she has a heart where she can forgive me and understand that this is not going to be a reoccurring thing. And allow me to recover from my f*cking mess of a mistake. That's what I'm trying to do not only as a man, but in teaching a lesson to my son. When you do something wrong, stand in front of your wrong sh*t, don't run away from it. This was Dad's wrong sh*t."

He also sought to make it clear that despite rumors suggesting that he has always been a cheater, he in fact never cheated on his first wife, Torrei Hart after all. And if he did, it's because the marriage had long been over. He also noted the difference between the situations. Where one marriage, he walked away. In this one, he was going to fight because he wanted to keep her.

Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

"I don't like people bringing up my first marriage. I left my first marriage. I got a divorce. I filed. I'm the one that said I don't want to do this anymore, I'm not happy. The infidelity and sh*t was because we were both done. So, I walked away from it… This time granted, I f*cked up. But in f*cking this up, I'm like, I gotta repair this because this is what I want. This is my foundation. This is my wife, my kids. This is, I worked for this. This is nine-plus years into this… That's the difference. As a man when you want to work to fix it, and you want to fight for what you have."

Kevin briefly talked about the events surrounding the night where the cheating happened. A cancelled trip to Barcelona led to an on-the-whim visit to Vegas where he went alone with one of his boys, no team, no security, just him, to play poker. And of course, we know how that ended.

"I learned my lesson. It's a gut punch from God. You're not invincible. You can't move the way you think you can move, I take it away like this. God, yes you can. Jesus Christ, I'm done. Don't call me for sh*t, I'm going home… Don't ask. I want no parts of it. I'm 38, about to be 40 soon. I tap out. I tap out."

Perhaps more than the public opinion that is sometimes fairly placed on him, Kevin takes issue with the fact that his wife Eniko Hart is subjected to harsh treatment by the public due to the rumors about her being a former mistress during he and his ex-wife's marriage. To the gossip site's "karma," Kevin hit them with a little truth.

"That woman didn't have nothing to do with my marriage. That woman didn't have nothing to do with me leaving my wife. Nothing. I'm separated… The image that was being attempted to be put on this woman's back wasn't a fair image and that's what I don't like. I don't like that, because she's not that. She's nothing near that. The fact that I have a prize in finding what I feel is an amazing f*cking woman. A woman that I'm lucky to call my wife, lucky to have put up with the sh*t she put up with and still allow me to say that I'm her husband, that's an amazing quality that she has that I bow down to. So, the fact that people try to take that quality away and diminish her character, that's where I almost lost it for a second."

Kevin also gave us some insight on how he and Eniko began to repair their marriage after news broke of his cheating. Because she was pregnant at the time with their son, Kenzo, Kevin took ensuring her health and well-being seriously during that time.

"That's when you have to step in as a man. I was shooting a movie, I shut down production… We went to Atlanta for a while. We talked. When you have a union, that's when you get checked. That's when the bond of your union will be questioned. Nobody's perfect. Find the perfect man so I can talk to him. I want to talk to him, so I can get advice… I'm not knocking those that are [perfect], I'm not knocking those that sit in a good light – but I promise you that those brothers or sisters have come from a place where they learned from these lessons. Without lessons, you don't have experiences. Without experiences, you don't have sh*t to change."

Although a part of him probably always knew cheating was wrong on some level, Kevin explained that the only way to truly learn right from wrong sometimes is through trial and error and by gaining experience. He thought he wanted more when in reality, he learned just how valuable his family life and his life at home were. In his words, "It don't get better."

"This is wrong because I had what I wanted. I had what I wanted because I had a foundation at home, and a family comfort. And a comfort zone. I worked so hard to get here, I built this brand, we sit on the fruits of my labor – oh my God, I am as happy as I want – what the f*ck am I doing? It don't get better, that's why it's wrong. 100% in this case, it's wrong because it's wrong."
"I'm a better man. I'm a better man because the lightbulb that has went off is the one that was supposed to go off because this line – this straight line that I'm walking on right now – there are no moments to be off balance. There are no more shots, there are no more chances. I'm done. I don't want that level of fun no more. I don't need it. I'm on some grown man different sh*t where if he doesn't involve my family, I'm not interested."

Ultimately, the growing pains Kevin Hart's mistakes have caused him to endure were necessities for the new level of man he is becoming. Where there is an admitted weakness, there is room to acquire strength if you let it.

The good sis Maya said it best, when you know better, do better.

Watch Kevin Hart's full interview with The Breakfast Club below.

Featured image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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