Actor Kevin Hart's request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in his defamation case against celebrity gossip blogger Tasha K has been denied by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff. The case revolves around a viral interview with Hart's ex-assistant, Miesha Shakes, during which they exposed alleged false information about Hart in December.
According to Rolling Stone, Beckloff ruled that Hart's RO request was "just a really vague, overbroad request that doesn’t address actual malice."
The judge expressed concern that the comedian's legal team failed to provide a full transcript of Shakes' interview with Tasha K from the Unwine With Tasha K episode, as it was available on Kebe's subscription service for $12.
During the hearing, Beckloff emphasized the absence of direct quotes from the hour-and-a-half interview, stating, "Part of the problem I have is that there are no direct quotes of what occurred." In response, Hart's lawyer, Donte Mills, asserted that they had obtained the transcript but were hesitant to share it due to the false and damaging nature of the statements made in the interview.
Beckloff denied the request, suggesting that Hart's team could file the motion again with the transcript under seal or submit a separate motion for a preliminary injunction. The potential injunction would address Hart's claims of extortion, breach of contract, invasion of privacy, and defamation against Tasha K and Shakes.
Shakes, who appeared at the hearing, claimed to experience "harassment and bullying" over the interview, expressing fear for her and her young daughter's safety. The next hearing in the defamatory case is scheduled for Feb. 29.
In a related development, a Superior Court judge declined Hart's request to order Tasha K to remove a video of the tell-all interview with his former assistant. The interview, where Shakes alleged that Hart had cheated on his wife and had a gambling problem, led to Hart filing a defamation and extortion lawsuit against both Shakes and Tasha K in December.
During the Thursday hearing on the motion for a TRO, Judge Beckloff expressed dissatisfaction, stating, "I think the request is overbroad. The request is vague. I’m not sure what 'any content relating to Kevin Hart' is."
The judge raised concerns about prior restraint, indicating it resembled censorship, which requires a high bar for judicial intervention.
Hart's complaint, filed in November, mentioned a phone call from an unidentified individual affiliated with Kebe, who claimed the interview would be published unless Hart paid a $250,000 ransom. Despite Hart's claims of false statements in the interview, the judge was unable to decipher the specific damaging revelations.
The denial of both motions means the case can proceed in a different courtroom under a different judge. Tasha K, already familiar with legal battles, previously faced a defamation lawsuit from rapper Cardi B, resulting in a $4 million damages verdict against her. Tasha K has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a matter that Hart's attorneys argue should not entitle her to a stay in the current case.