Who is Mary Lee Harvey? All About Steve Harvey’s Ex-wife

Mary Lee Harvey was the second wife of Steve Harvey, the famous American comedian. Mary, who was born on October 20th, 1960, is aged 62. She was a makeup artist when they met but later served as the president of Harvey House Entertainment and Wonder Love, Inc.

Mary and Steve met when the legendary American comedian was still trying to find his footing in the entertainment industry. The duo went on to co-habit for six years before saying “I do” in 1996. Their union lasted for nine years before it crashed in 2005, and they have one child from their relationship.

Summary of Mary Lee Harvey’s Biography

  • Full Name: Mary Lee Harvey or Mary Lee Shackleford
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of Birth: October 20th, 1960
  • Mary Lee Harvey’s Age: 62 years old
  • Ethnicity: Black-American
  • Nationality: American
  • Zodiac Sign: Libra
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Mary Lee Harvey’s Ex-Husband: Steve Harvey
  • Mary Lee Harvey’s Children: Two
  • Siblings: Nine
  • Mary Lee Harvey’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Mary Lee Harvey’s Height in Centimetres: 170 cm
  • Mary Lee Harvey’s Net Worth: $500k
  • Famous For: Being the ex-wife of Steve Harvey

When was Mary Lee Harvey Born?

Mary Lee Harvey was born on October 20th, 1960; this peg’s her current age at 62. Her birth occurred in Texas, United States, which points to her American nationality. Her ethnic background is black American.

Before she got married to Steve Harvey, Mary was known by her maiden name, Mary Lee Shackleford, she only changed her last name to Harvey after marriage.

She has never deemed it necessary to reveal the identities of her parents in the public space, but according to some tidbits from online sources, Mr. and Mrs. Shackleford were far from rich. In fact, Mary’s dad was working in paid employment, and his job only brought in a weekly stipend that could barely put food on the table.

As if that was not enough, the Shacklefords had ten children, which means many mouths to feed, and life was too harsh for Mary Lee Harvey and her siblings during their growing-up years.

The only time that Mary mentioned her birth family, she described it as a dysfunctional household where the children faced all sorts of abuses but cannot speak out. The reason no one got wind of what was happening in the Shackleford household was that their parents always made sure to keep them isolated so they won’t have the opportunity to breathe a word to anyone.

The Shackleford family brought up their children in Delhi, Louisiana, where Mary Lee Harvey attended Delhi High School, however, it is not clear whether she matriculated or not, and nothing has been said about further studies for Mary

What Does Mary Lee Harvey Do?

Before she met her husband, Mary worked in a beauty parlor as a professional makeup artist. However, after she became Mrs. Harvey, the former makeup artist worked in two of her husband’s firms as president, including Harvey House Entertainment and Wonder Love, Inc.

How Mary Lee Harvey and Steve Harvey Met

Mary Lee Harvey
Mary and Steve image source

It was during Steve Harvey’s early days in the comedy industry that he first crossed paths with Mary Lee Harvey. In 1989, Steve, who was formerly working in the Insurance sector as a salesman, went to Arlington, Texas, to perform in a standup comedy gig when he met Mary. At that time, she was just starting out her makeup artist career at a cosmetics store.

We were not told whether Mary was part of the audience at the comedy show, but according to reports, the couple’s attraction was instant and needless to say, they started dating immediately.

She Became Steve Harvey’s Wife in 1996

There has been some conflicting information on the exact wedding date for Mary and Steve. Some online sources claimed that the love birds only dated for a few months and tied the knot the next year. However, the truth was finally revealed in a 2011 interview session where Mary claimed that their dating period lasted for six years and that they even started cohabiting at a point in their relationship.

While they dated, Steve was struggling to become a big name in the comedy industry, and as the 1990s were ushered in, he began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mary Lee Harvey’s ex-husband came into his own in 1996 after he launched the Steve Harvey Show that took the comedy industry by storm.

Armed with a steady source of income, Steve popped the big question to his girlfriend, and the duo eventually took the proverbial walk down the aisle on the 21st of June 1996. Their nuptials were accomplished in Texas.

Important to note that Mary was not the first wife of the American comedian. Before they met, Steve had already married and divorced Marcia Harvey.

How Long Were Steve and Mary Married?

Mary Lee Harvey’s union with Steve Harvey went on to last for the ensuing nine years, from 1996 to 2005, before it came crashing.

During their time together as a legally married couple, Mary supported her spouse in both his professional and personal struggles. She was there when the American comedian grieved over his parents after losing them in the 1990s. Mary was also on hand to console her spouse when his manager and best friend passed on.

Mary was a pillar behind Steve in his professional life. The couple owned several companies where she was installed as the president. Very good instances are Harvey House Entertainment and Wonder Love, Inc. Steve and Mary traveled a lot during their time together. Their Steve & Mary L. Harvey Foundation, which was launched in 1994, took them to several parts of the world where they sought to cushion the effects of poverty on the underprivileged members of society.

Less privileged students benefited from the foundation as they received funding for computers, including other school supplies from the couple.

During that period in their relationship, Mary Lee Harvey gained the status of a role model for teenagers as she moved from one academic institution to the other on her philanthropic missions.

Everything seemed to be moving on oiled wheels for Steve and Harvey until the troubles started. According to Mary, she got her first pure evidence of her spouse’s infidelity by the time they were celebrating their second wedding anniversary, but she let peace reign.

Who is Mary’s Husband, Steve Harvey?

Born on January 17th, 1957, Steve Harvey was called Broderick Stephen Harvey at his birth. He is the son of Eloise and Jessed Harvey and the youngest of the couple’s five children.

Steve’s life story is that of rags-to-riches. Towards the end of the 1980s, Mary Lee Harvey’s husband was homeless, sleeping in his 1976 model Ford while showering at any available gas station.

To put food on the table, Steve worked every job that came his way, including functioning as a mailman, carpet cleaner, and insurance salesman, and there was even a time he became an amateur boxer.

Steve finally found his forte in life in 1985 when he got exposed to the world of comedy. After he got comfortable performing on different stages, the blossoming comic star enlisted on the “Second Annual Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search,” which took place in 1990. Making it to the final stage of the show paved the way for him, and soon, Steve was hosting Showtime at the Apollo” – a syndicated variety show that spanned between 1993 and 2000.

After he launched his own sitcom called “The Steve Harvey Show,” which lasted for eight years from 1996 to 2002,  he was then opportune to join US’s highest-grossing comedy tour in 1999, “The Kings of Comedy.” In 2005, Mary Lee Harvey’s husband launched his own morning radio show.

Following his 2009 book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”, the American comedian became a relationship guru as the book wasted no time in becoming a bestseller. He also penned two more publications, No Chaser and Straight Talk.

Mary Lee Harvey Has Two Kids

Mary Lee Harvey and the American comedian were barely one year into their marriage before they had the first and only child of their relationship. Their son, Wynton Harvey, came to complete their love on the 18th of July 1997.

Wynton is all grown up and forging his own career path in life. After graduating from the Atlanta, Georgia-based Savannah College of Art and Design, Mary’s son went on to make a living as a model, fashion enthusiast, and photographer. His first collection of photographic works was showcased in Atlanta on the 14th of July, 2018. The youngster has also done some modeling work.

Wynton may be the only child that Mary shares with her ex-husband, Steve Harvey, however, he is not her only child. Reports revealed that she was already a mother by the time Harvey came into her life, but the details are not known.

Just like Mary Lee Harvey, Steve also has three children from his marriage with Marcia, which lasted from 1980 to 1994 – a son, Broderick Harvey Jr., and two daughters, Brandi and Karli Harvey. After he got married to his wife number three, Marjorie Bridge Harvey, Steve adopted her three kids from previous relationships.

She Filed for Divorce in November 2005

People thought it was all rosy for Mary Lee Harvey and Steve Harvey before the messy details of their life together started coming into the public arena. After Mary got concrete evidence of Steve’s extra-marital affairs, the American comedian didn’t bother to stop. He even went on to cheat on Mary with Marjorie Bridges, who later became his third wife.

Needless to say, Steve’s spate of cheating escapades bred altercations between the couple that resulted in domestic violence. According to Mary, she was not the only one that faced abuse at the hands of her spouse, but their only son got a taste.

In 2005, Mary finally mustered up the courage to file for divorce at the Texas District Court, and everything was settled before the end of the year, precisely in November. The divorce settlement saw Mary get three of their landed properties, a $1.9 million sum in March 2009, $40,000/month until March of 2009, and $1,000/month for child support,

In spite of all these lavish bequeaths, Mary Lee Harvey spun a pathetic tale in 2011, which made her look like the victim.

Mary Lost the Battle for Custody of their Only Son

In 2008, Mary Lee Harvey asked her the-assistant to put Wynton on a plane but should not inform his dad until the plane is 30 minutes from landing.

When quizzed, Mary denied giving her son away, claiming it was just one of their regular procedures – sending the boy to go spend quality time with his dad. However, when the battle for custody really ensued, she lost out as her son was never returned. The presiding judge, after hearing their story, ruled Mary unfit to take care of a child.

Mary’s Tell-all YouTube Videos

Mary Lee Harvey caused quite a stir in 2011 when she released three videos on YouTube accusing her ex of breaking their wedding vows many times. She cited an example with the comedian’s third wife, Marjorie, whom he cheated on her with and later went to enjoy a lavish lifestyle with his new wife while she continued to toil. Her words suggested that she was robbed of her own share of their joint fortune by Marjorie, who also stole her son.

Despite all the divorce settlement she was alleged to have received, Mary still alleged that she was left broke by Steve, who also succeeded in turning their son against her.

She later narrated how she received a 30-day notice to exit from the home she received as alimony. The $40,000 a month maintenance money only started coming in 2009, and she only got it for 10 months, Mary said. She also sold off her part of their joint rant to Steve for $1.5 million, which according to her, was far lower than the market value.

There was also a tale about a certain time she was informed via phone that there is a warrant for her arrest. To avoid embracement in public, Mary Lee Harvey went to the court to make an inquiry and was told that she was falling back on the payment of child support, which wasn’t stated in their divorce conditions. She had to spend the entire weekend in jail and left the next week after posting bail.

Mary later spent 30 days in jail in 2013 during Christmas/New Year period, and the reason for her arrest was stated as violating the gag order condition, which was stated in their divorce papers. She was only able to leave jail till January 2014.

Mary reiterated all these in interview sessions on TV with several outlets. Steve’s former wife said she wasn’t ready to stop anytime soon as stopping would give her ex and his current wife a pass for treating her wrongly. She only hope that she would be able to salvage her relationship with Wynton.

Steve’s Response To Mary Lee Harvey

After Mary’s YouTube Videos went viral in 2011, the American comedian went to seek legal advice to help in dealing with the defamation. When the case finally went to court, Mary was forbidden from spreading false information about her ex by Judge Robert Dry. This goes to show that all the claims that she was left to toil after their divorce were not true.

Mary Sued Steve Again in 2017

Twelve years after their divorce was declared final, Mary came out once more to drag her ex to court, suing him for $60 million. In her lawsuit, she accused Steve of “murdering her soul.”

A court document showed that she passed through emotional distress and mental pain and even attempted suicide to end it all. However, she lost the case and resorted to making another YouTube video in 2017 about wanting justice and must get what she worked hard for.

Mary is Rumored to have Remarried

Though there are not many sources claiming it, it has been speculated that Mary Lee Harvey got married after her divorce from Steve. The same story also said she is now a resident of Plano, Texas, where she lives with her unnamed spouse. Mary is also said to have changed her last name to Woolridge or Vaughn, but this has never been verified.

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