Kevin Hart is speaking out for the first time since the September car crash in which the actor suffered “major back injuries” resulting in surgery.
On Thursday, Hart released a statement through his attorney, mentioning Jared Black and his fianceé, Rebecca Broxterman, the two other individuals who were in the car when the accident occurred.
“I have nothing but love for Jared and wish him and Rebecca a speedy recovery,” Hart said in the statement obtained by EW.
The actor’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, also told the outlet that Hart would not fully return back to work until early 2020.
“While he’s doing a little work here and there for the film, he doesn’t expect to be fully back to work until the new year,” Brettler said.
On Sept. 1, Hart, 40, was a passenger in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda when its driver, friend and producer Black, lost control and crashed through wooden fencing just before 1 a.m. on Mulholland Highway in Malibu, a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol told E! News at the time.
The blue Barracuda crashed about 10 feet off the road and into a ditch, leaving Black and the comedian with “major back injuries,” TMZ reported.
The third occupant, personal trainer Broxterman, was unharmed, according to E! News, which also reported that Hart left the scene and headed to his nearby home to get medical help, but was later treated for his injuries at a local hospital.
Hart’s statement came just as the California Highway Patrol released a detailed report about the accident, saying reckless driving by Hart’s friend was the cause of the accident, according to NBC.
The crash report details that firefighters had to cut off the roof and pull Black — who was trapped behind the steering wheel — out of the damaged vehicle. The report also confirms that the producer was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, though he appeared to have “quickly accelerated,” causing the right rear tire to lose traction, which resulted in a loss of control of the vehicle, according to the CHP report obtained by NBC.
After examining the vehicle, according to TMZ, the report also signifies that the passengers may not have been wearing seat belts saying “there were fold and crease marks on the belt surfaces consistent with being folded and tucked into the seats and no indicators of occupant loading were present.” But even if the passengers had been properly strapped at the time of the crash, cops say the belts “were being worn improperly due to excessive slack in the belts,” TMZ reported.
A day after the accident, a source told PEOPLE that the actor was in recovery following surgery for his back injuries, TMZ reported. According to the outlet, the actor stayed in the hospital for a few days to fully recover.
The Night School actor bought himself the Barracuda in July as a 40th birthday present, and showed it off on Instagram shortly after making the big purchase, noting he’d nicknamed it “Menace.”
Many of Hart’s famous pals including Terry Crews, Bryan Cranston, and Jumanji costar Dwayne Johnson, expressed their support for the actor. Following the accident, Johnson posted a shot of the two filmings the new Jumanji movie series together with a sweet caption.
“Stop messing with my emotions brother @kevinhart4real,” Johnson wrote. “We have a lot more laughing to do together. Love you man. Stay strong,”