Sketchy things about Steve Harvey everyone just ignores
Depending on who you talk to, Steve Harvey is either the funniest man on the planet or a celebrity who is no laughing matter. While we know what it is about him that makes people laugh (c’mon, Family Feud is pretty funny), survey says Harvey has some skeletons in his closet.
He treats his staff like crap
On the heels of his talk show’s big move to Los Angeles, Harvey reportedly sent a shocking memo to his new staff demanding things typically reserved for tour riders. “There will be no meetings in my dressing room. No stopping by or popping in. NO ONE. Do not come to my dressing room unless invited. Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED,” Harvey wrote in the memo, obtained in May 2017 by Chicago blogger Robert Feder. The memo continued, “My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me. I want all the ambushing to stop now. That includes TV staff. You must schedule an appointment.”
Harvey claimed he was “seeking more free time for me throughout the day,” explaining that the memo was sent to fix the lenient, open-door policy he permitted during his show’s run in Chicago. He reiterated that defense a few days later while discussing the leaked letter with Entertainment Tonight. “I’m in my makeup chair, they walk in the room. I’m having lunch, they walk in, they don’t knock. I’m in the hallway, I’m getting ambushed by people with friends that come to the show and having me sign this and do this. I just said, ‘Wait a minute.’ And in hindsight, I probably should’ve handled it a little bit differently.”
Memo to Los Angeles: good luck!
He was involved in a bizarre lawsuit over a private jet
In November 2015, Harvey was sued for allegedly backing out of plans to lease a private jet midway through more than $400,000 worth of renovations he had allegedly requested on the aircraft. Said requests reportedly included “custom carpet, a reconfiguration of the interior cabin from 16 seats to 14 seats, custom seat design and new upper and lower cabin sidewalls,” reported TMZ.
Harvey settled the lawsuit; but about a year later, he sued the Federal Aviation Title Company in an attempt to recoup the $250,000 he had put in escrow to lease the private jet. The money was awarded to Harvey by default after the FATC failed to respond to his lawsuit, according to TMZ.
We’re guessing Harvey has flown commercial ever since.
He's still feuding with his ex-wife
For someone who loves to dish out relationship advice, Harvey has had his fair share of romantic baggage. Take his second ex-wife, Mary Lee Harvey, for example. In 2011, Steve had to obtain a court injunction against Mary Lee after she posted a number of videos on YouTube alleging, among other things, that Steve had turned their son against her and left her homeless.
Despite the injunction, Mary Lee continued to threaten her ex-husband’s reputation. In 2013, she was sent to jail for 30 days after leaking sealed documents to the media about an incident in which Steve was accused of beating their son. (Harvey was cleared of the allegations, according to TMZ.) In May 2017, Mary Lee sued Steve for $60 million for “child endangerment, torture, conspiracy against rights, kidnapping, murder, breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress” connected to their nasty 2005 divorce.
Steve’s lawyer slammed the allegations in the lawsuit, claiming, “the Complaint is meritless, frivolous and the allegations are completely false. We will vigorously defend/counterclaim against the Complaint.”
His relationship advice is controversial
Steve Harvey has given so many eyebrow-raising comments about men, women, and dating over the years that people have put together entire YouTube videos dedicated to them. Indeed, whether he’s claiming that people who don’t believe in God are idiots or that men cheat because women allow them to, Harvey has been accused of everything from being homophobic to promoting gender-normative and anti-intellectual stereotypes.
For example, while responding to a viewer question on Good Morning America about why men go for unintelligent and shallow women, Harvey offered a response that remains baffling to this day. He said, “If a guy is out for one thing, it’s best to go for shallow, unintelligent women. You don’t want to break this news to a really bright woman. ‘Hey, I just want to do something to you this evening.’ You don’t want to tell that to an intelligent person, because she’ll tell you where to take all of that. You want to find somebody shallow, really simple, unintelligent, that you can run this by and they’ll sit there and go, ‘Wow! That sounds great!'”
His meeting with Trump ruffled feathers
In January 2017, Harvey came under fire, particularly within the African-American community, for taking a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump. During the highly charged campaign, Trump was repeatedly accused of being racist. Even more surprising were Harvey’s takeaways from their meeting. He described Trump as “a great guy,” “genuine,” and “congenial and sincere.”
Harvey supported Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, for president, but he defended his meeting with Trump, claiming on his radio show (via The Hill), “Change can only happen when we sit at the table. If we sit at the table, then we can have a say as to what’s to be eaten on the menu.” He added, “I have an obligation to take a seat at the table when invited.”
Months later, on his radio show, Harvey admitted (via the Daily Mail) that meeting with Trump was the worst mistake he’d ever made in his life.
His hosting gig for Miss Universe 2015 was a disaster
In December 2015, Harvey experienced arguably his biggest PR disaster when he mistakenly read the wrong name when announcing the winner of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant on live television. Harvey apologized profusely for the mistake, which he later blamed on a whole lot of miscommunication.
Sources for Radar Online alleged that Harvey had previously declined to host the pageant twice and only took the gig at the last minute (and for a hefty payday, no less), which left everyone scrambling to prepare. Even worse, cameras for TMZ reportedly spotted Harvey drinking and playing at the high-end roulette tables mere hours before the pageant was set to begin. Yeah. Not great.
He made an offensive joke about Asian men
Harvey offended members of the Asian community with a cringe-worthy segment that aired on his talk show in January 2017. During the segment, he cracks a few awkward jokes while poking fun at the book How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men. “You like Asian men?…I don’t even like Chinese food, boy,” Harvey quips to the audience (via Variety). “It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.”
As Variety noted, the segment stirred so much controversy that Fresh Off the Boat author Eddie Huang wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled, “Hey, Steve Harvey, Who Says I Might Not Steal Your Girl?” The show issued a statement on the matter, yet Harvey seemed clueless about the controversy while talking to reporters, saying (via The Hollywood Reporter), “I ain’t been laughing that much over the past few days. They’re kinda beating me up on the internet right now for no reason. But, you know, that’s life, ain’t it?”
He finally tweeted an apology: “I offer the humblest apology for offending anyone, particularly those in the Asian community, last week. It was not my intention and the humor was not meant with any malice or disrespect whatsoever.”
He's still friends with Bill Cosby
Even after at least 60 women accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault over his decades-long career, Harvey still thinks highly of the former Cosby Show star.
He said as much during an admittedly eyebrow-raising interview with The Hollywood Reporter published in September 2015. “I haven’t talked to him in a few months, but when I’m your friend, I’m your friend,” he said. “And Bill Cosby helped my sons at Morehouse [College], and he [taught] me how to do this business. He didn’t even know me and he taught me how to do this business.”
He continued, “When I heard all the trouble he was in, I called and asked him how he was doing. You know what he says to me? ‘Hey man, I appreciate you calling, but just stay away from me right now. You don’t need none of this on you. You’re doing good. Whatever happens to me, happens to me, but don’t you get none of this on you.’ That’s an amazing thing for a guy to say.”
We’re just going to leave it at that.