Top comedian Kevin Hart’s memoir just dropped in bookstores, and it is a doozy. Co-written by Neil Strauss, I Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Life Lessons was released today (June 6), and fans are getting a glimpse into the life of the iconic comedian. Kevin tackles tough topics like alcoholism, his violent first marriage, and his father’s drug addiction in his first memoir. The book is a perfect mixture of sadness and hilarity.
People recently reviewed the book and highlighted some of its biggest topics. One main focus of the memoir is Kevin’s father, Henry Robert Witherspoon. Henry wasn’t the father Kevin needed growing up, as he was absent for most of his childhood. His father was incarcerated while Kevin was young and unfortunately didn’t turn his life around when he was released.
Hart details several stories that might seem funny from the outside, but they were very dangerous to Kevin at the time. One specific incident included Henry putting an 8-year-old Kevin at the helm of a fishing boat, which he crashed shortly after taking the wheel.
As long as he can remember, his father was an alcoholic who also struggled with a drug problem. His addiction problems permeated throughout the family, even leading to Henry robbing his other son Kenneth’s barber shop business.
Kevin also recalls his father bringing home gifts for him and his brother that were often stolen from stores or neighbors. The boys also learned of Henry’s infidelity to their mother and later found out he fathered several other children while married.
Additionally, Hart details one of the lowest points in his life: his 2013 DUI. Without getting too specific, Kevin’s now-wife, Eniko Parrish Hart, was preparing to satisfy him while he drove home drunk from a club, which caused him to veer off the road several times before a cop noticed. Hart remembers he often drove home from parties and clubs intoxicated and felt his life was beginning to mirror his father’s, and this was the incident that caused him to take life more seriously.
Kevin Hart with wife Eniko Parrish [Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]
Things in the book don’t lighten up after the devastating stories about his father. Kevin also goes into great detail about his first marriage (2003-2011) to his wife, Torrie. Hart opens up about their violent marriage and how the police were often called to their home in the middle of the night. He admitted to cheating on her numerous times despite having two children together: 12-year-old Heaven and 9-year-old Hendrix.
Coinciding with his book release, is his appearance on the cover of Essence’s June issue. He discussed his first marriage in greater detail with the publication.
“The greatest lesson I learned is that you can be too young to understand. I think the lack of experience, knowledge and respect I had in the first marriage were the reasons for the downfall. Not really understanding the definition of marriage, not really taking it seriously. I was 22 when we got married, and it’s a big thing.”
In addition to his first troubled marriage and his family’s struggle with alcoholism, Kevin clearly gets emotional when talking about his late mother, Nancy. Hart explains how his mother was a constant source of support, and even hid her terminal cancer from him while he was shooting Fool’s Gold in 2006. It was one of Kevin’s fist big gigs, and she didn’t want to worry him while his career was taking off. After she passed in 2007, Hart described an emotional moment where he found a box of memories his mother had kept of all his successes.
Thankfully, the book does have its light moments for fans to enjoy. USA Today took notice of the lighter side to Hart’s memoir, as well as his keys to success. So what can readers learn from Hart? Follow your instincts, learn from your struggles, and work hard.
“The unsuccessful get halfway to the finish line, then turn around. The successful get halfway, then keep going. Both run the same distance, but only one makes it to the finish line.”
Kevin’s memoir is available in bookstores everywhere, in addition to his cover issue for Essence. Can’t get enough? Hart’s animated feature Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is also in theaters everywhere.
Will you be heading out to buy Kevin’s new memoir? Let us know in the comments below!
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]