*Writer Allison Samuels has waded into the murky waters of Steve Harvey’s love life with a new column questioning his self-appointed role as “relationship expert.”
Here’s an excerpt from her Feb. 16 post, titled “Steve Harvey’s Bad Romance”:
Annie Martin is still too peeved to rationally discuss comic Steve Harvey. Like many African American women, Martin had thought of Harvey as the ultimate relationship expert—until she saw his ex-wife’s YouTube rant last month, accusing him of being a two-timer and worse. For more than 10 years, Martin, a 43-year-old nurse’s assistant from Baltimore, had faithfully supported her favorite entertainer—listening to his nationally syndicated radio show, watching his stint on “Family Feud,” tuning in whenever he appeared on TBN religious network. Martin always believed the comedian was just a “down home brother” with enough common sense and old-school wisdom to share with the masses. And when the 54-year old radio host decided to pen his own book in 2009, detailing his insights into the black male psyche and relationships, she ran to the bookstore. “I just knew he’d be able to tell me what I needed to do to find a black man. No one else was stepping up to try,” Martin says.
Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady; Think Like a Man” had 50 printings, sold 2 million copies and appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers lists for months, and he followed up last year with a second book, “Straight No Chaser; How to Find, Keep and Understand A Man.” Harvey basked in his own spotlight, posing for covers of Essence magazine with his wife Majorie and gracing the couches of Oprah, Jay Leno and other shows, touting his winning advice for couples. Winfrey was so impressed with Harvey’s straightforward, pragmatic approach to love and relationships that she reportedly considered giving him a show about relationships on her new network, OWN.
But the show never materialized, and now it looks like Winfrey may have dodged a bullet. Before she could finalize plans for the Harvey show, the daytime queen received some troubling news from the former Mrs. Steve Harvey—who then went on to share her complaintswith the world via her YouTube video.
Simply put, Mary Harvey thinks her husband is the last man in the world who should be a relationship guru.
Among her accusations are that Harvey was unfaithful (more than 15 times, she claims), that he was allegedly abusive, and the ultimate betrayal—that he left her and married his mistress. She also accused him of turning their son against her and leaving her penniless. While Winfrey won’t make an official comment on the ex-couple, sources close to the talk show host say she’s relieved she pulled the show off the table and hopes not to be a central focus of the Harveys’ lawsuits against one another. Both Steve and Mary Harvey are under a court gag order and declined to comment for this story.
The shocking claims still have many African Americans—particularly those convinced Harvey’s relationship advice was gospel—battling feelings of betrayal and asking, just who is Steve Harvey, really? Had they actually been duped by the charming, funny man with a penchant for expensive three piece suits and hair pieces? “A friend sent me the YouTube video and my heart sank,” says Martin, the Baltimore nurse’s assistant. “I know it sounds silly, but I thought of him like a true friend. Not to be a perfect man, but to be honest about his own circumstances before instructing me how to deal with mine. I’m not even saying what his ex-wife said is all true—but clearly something was very wrong.”
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