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Steve Harvey takes ex-wife to court over YouTube videos

By Alan Duke, CNN
  • Harvey's ex-wife posted three videos on YouTube last week
  • His ex-wife talked about their marriage break up on the tapes
  • The comedian's lawyer says the tapes violated a court gag order

(CNN) -- Comedian Steve Harvey goes to court next month to ask a Texas judge to stop his ex-wife from talking about the break up of their marriage and the bitter child custody fight that followed, Harvey's lawyer said Thursday.

Mary Harvey posted a series of videos on YouTube last week that includes excerpts of letters and e-mails she said she intercepted between Harvey and his current wife, Marjorie, near the end of her 16-year relationship with him.

The Collins County, Texas judge set a hearing for February 7 to hear Harvey's request for sanctions against his former wife for allegedly violating an injunction against talking about the family law case in the media or on the internet, Harvey lawyer Bobbie Edmonds said.

The comedian's current wife, Marjorie Harvey, is "contemplating" filing a defamation suit against the ex-wife because of accusations against her in the videos, Edmonds said.

"It's hard to put something behind that keeps popping up in your life," Mary Harvey said in the first of three videos posted online last Friday. She pointing to an Essence magazine article this month referring to her and a lawsuit filed by her former husband.

"As I sit and talk and speak right now, there's a lawsuit that's been filed against me in Texas, because in Steve's opinion, I was responsible when Oprah didn't give him a TV show," she said. "I'm being sued for that as I sit here on this sofa today."

Edmonds would not speak directly about that lawsuit, saying it was sealed by a judge, but she issued a statement earlier this week: "We are appalled and aware of the videos and the other fabricated documents, which were placed on the internet over the weekend by the ex-wife of Mr. Steve Harvey, which contained false, misleading, derogatory, disparaging, malicious, explicit and slanderous information about Mr. Harvey, his current wife and others."

Steve and Mary Harvey divorced in 2005, but a bitter fight followed in which Harvey "turned my son against me, had me evicted from our house, thrown out, all the businesses, all the money, the cars," she said.

"He manipulated the courts, everything against me," she said.

Steve Harvey, who has custody of the couple's son, Wynton, would not personally respond to the charges because of "existing court gag orders," Edmonds said.

"We are saddened that the ex-wife has resorted to such devious and selfish behavior, with a reckless disregard for their minor son, her adult son and Mr. Harvey's other children," Edmonds said.

Steve and Mary Harvey met in 1989 and married in 1996, Mary Harvey said. Their son was born a year after their marriage.

In the videos, she describes the early years of their relationship as a financial struggle in which she supported his comedy career by sleeping in their car as they traveled from job to job.

The couple would sometimes survive on a jar of coins kept in their trunk, sometimes by stealing gas to make it to the next city, she said.

It was when Harvey's career was prospering that she realized "I was not alone in my relationship with my husband," she said.

"It hit me really hard" when she intercepted a love letter from a mistress on their second wedding anniversary, she said.

The letter was from the woman Harvey would later move in with and marry, Mary Harvey said.

She never got an apology, she said.

"Steve never said that he was sorry," she said. "He had our housekeeper pack his belongings up and forward those belongings to New York and after that, that was it."

The last of the three videos includes an apology letter she said Harvey's lawyer wanted her to sign.

"He wanted me to take the blame for it, in writing," she said.