Comedian, actor, and television host Steve Harvey has been around the world and has the stories to prove it. The mogul had to fail hard for his success to kick-off and is not ashamed to discuss the times he nearly lost it all. Steve caught up with the guys over at Earn Your Leisure to do a deep dive into his journey and the things that have helped define him. In one moment, Steve opens up about his second marriage leaving him flat broke after a really successful period in his career.
In 2005 Steve Harvey and his second wife filed for divorce after almost ten years of marriage. Steve and Mary Lee Harvey began dating right at the start of his mainstream crossover. Mary was a make-up artist from Texas when she met Harvey. When they began dating in 1989, they both already had children from previous marriages. After tying the knot, they would welcome biological son Wynton, who was born July 18th, 1997.
During their union, Steve Harvey would make his television debut as the host on Showtime at the Apollo. He would follow this up with his sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show, which premiered in 1996 and ran for six seasons. It scored several NAACP Image Awards and won for Outstanding Actor (Steve Harvey), Oustanding Supporting Actress (Terri J. Vaughn), Oustanding Supporting Actor (Cedric The Entertainer), and Outstanding series.
The show helped make Steve a household name. He used this newfound fame and partnered up with Cedric The Entertainer, D.L Hughley, and Bernie Mac to launch their wildly successful Kings of Comedy tour. They even turned it into a film directed by Spike Lee called The Original Kings of Comedy. The tour became the highest-grossing comedy tour in history, grossing $18 million its first year and $19 million it’s second year making even bigger stars out of all the men.
Unfortunately, Steve would lose a lot of this money in his divorce from Mary. In 2011, Mary confessed that she intercepted a letter to Steve from a woman claiming to be his mistress. Eventually, she received a call from a woman looking into a job position with Steve, which raised red flags. That woman was Marjorie Bridges, who would eventually become Steve’s third wife.
The infidelity eventually lead to the couples divorce, with Mary making claims that Steve left her broke, homeless and took away their son. She spoke out publicly several times, spilling the details of their split and, according to Steve, ruining opportunities for him, including a show on Oprah’s OWN channel.
However, according to Steve, he was the one left on the ousts. While speaking with the men of Earn Your Leisure, Steve says the divorce was a hard reset for him because he lost everything. “I’ve lost everything twice. I lost it all when I was homeless. I lost it all again in 2005. I was zeroed out in 2005. I had $1700 left.” He goes on to joke that Mary’s lawyer was outstanding. “I was in court clapping for him! Next thing I know, I had nothing.” He says around that time, he was also the victim of theft via an accountant.
Court documents confirm that Mary got out of the marriage with a lot of Steve’s money. After the divorce, she was paid $40k a month from 2005 to 2009 and got a $1.5 million lump sum at the end. The divorce settlement also left her with three houses. In exchange, she gave Steve full custody of their son and signed documents to no longer discuss their relationship in the media, which she did not abide by.
Steve learned in those dark moments how to keep the faith and keep his imagination alive. He would be able to move forward with Majorie, and the pair have been happily married for 16 years. Later in the interview, Steve opens up about how much peace Majorie has brought into his life by validating him and who he is. He considers her a turning point in his life and what helped him rebound from such a low point. He says she changed the game for him. “She made me good with who I was.” He says he had a peaceful home life for the first time in his life.