Divorces are messy because emotions run high when two people who once envisioned themselves growing old together decide they can’t be with each other anymore. When you’re married to a famous person, this complicated situation gets much worse.
Mary Lee Harvey knows this firsthand, as her divorce from the famous comedian and TV personality Steve Harvey unfolded in the public eye.
The intense media scrutiny may have added more pressure while she struggled with the fallout from their separation.
In this article, you can learn more about Mary Lee Harvey, her marriage to Steve Harvey, and the ensuing divorce.
Who Is Mary Lee Harvey?
Mary Lee Harvey was born in Texas on October 20, 1960. She worked as a professional makeup artist in the 80s and 90s.
Not much is known about Mary’s childhood and family. However, in one YouTube video, she hints that her relationship with her parents, specifically her father, wasn’t good.
“Coming from my childhood and from my father’s house, which was not ever pleasant for me, I was looking for that relationship that I never had even with my father,” she said.
Most people know Mary Lee Harvey through her relationship with her famous ex-husband, Steve Harvey. In their 9 years of marriage, they had one son named Wynston.
What Happened in Mary Lee Harvey’s Marriage to Steve Harvey?
Mary Lee and Steve Harvey’s divorce was a messy affair that received plenty of media attention. They fought each other in court for many years beyond their divorce.
However, before the court battles and the media firestorm, the couple was happily married for a time.
Mary Lee Harvey and Steve Harvey’s Marriage
The couple reportedly met in 1989 at a mall in Arlington, Texas where Mary worked as a makeup artist. At the time, Steve was a stand-up comedian and still married to his first wife, Marcia Harvey.
It’s unclear when the couple started to get involved in a relationship. However, it wasn’t until 1996 that they finally tied the knot, two years after Steve’s split with Marcia.
In 1997, Mary Lee Harvey gave birth to their son, Wynston Harvey.
Mary Lee Harvey and Steve Harvey’s Divorce
Mary Lee and Steve Harvey divorced in 2005. According to court documents, the reason behind the couple’s split was “irreconcilable differences.” Court battles between the two were featured in news stories years after their split.
Here’s a short timeline of what happened after their divorce:
2011: Steve Harvey Sues Mary Lee Harvey for Contempt of Court and Defamation
In 2011, Mary Harvey posted several YouTube videos accusing Steve of leaving her homeless and destitute, turning their son against her, and manipulating the courts.
Additionally, Mary Lee Harvey claimed that the reason for the divorce was infidelity. She said that Steve Harvey cheated on her with his third wife, Marjorie Harvey, while he was still married to her.
In her YouTube videos, she shared excerpts of emails she claimed to have intercepted between Steve and Marjorie.
However, court documents from the divorce proceedings contradicted her statements. These documents were released after a judge temporarily released an existing gag order on the divorce case so Steve could respond to Mary’s claims.
According to these documents, Mary Lee wasn’t left destitute after the split. Instead, she received three of Steve Harvey’s properties in the divorce settlement.
Furthermore, since their divorce, Steve paid her $40,000 monthly until March 2009. In March 2009, he paid her $1.5 Million.
Steve Harvey also didn’t “take and withhold” their son from Mary Harvey, as she’d claimed. On the contrary, the court documents reveal that she put their son on a plane and sent him to Steve without his knowledge. He won full custody over their child.
He decided to sue her for contempt of court and defamation. According to him, Mary Lee Harvey violated the gag order that prevented them from talking publicly about their divorce.
2013: Mary Lee Harvey Arrested
Steve Harvey won the case in 2013. As punishment for contempt of court and defamation, she served 30 days behind bars.
2018: Mary Lee Harvey Sues Steve Harvey for $60 Million
Thirteen years after the couple split, Mary Lee Harvey gained the public eye again as she accused Steve Harvey of child endangerment, torture, and “soul murder.” She shared that throughout their very public divorce in 2005, she became depressed and suicidal.
Steve Harvey’s attorney called the lawsuit, “meritless, frivolous,” and “completely false.” Ultimately, a judge dismissed the case.
Mary Lee Harvey struggled through challenges that usually accompany any divorce. In addition, her ex-husband’s famous name placed her under the glare of the public eye.
Their divorce was finalized in 2005, but she continued to fight and lose legal battles against Steve Harvey up until 2018.
After their divorce, Steve married Marjorie in 2007 and has stayed happily married ever since.