Comedian Steve Harvey Sued by Ex-Wife in Harris County District Court
Funny-man Steve Harvey is better known for his stand-up routines than any sort of magic act, but his ex-wife is now claiming in court that Harvey and his lawyer tricked her.
According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Harris County District Court, Harvey’s ex-wife, Mary Harvey, claims that both Harvey and their long-time Houston attorney Ricky Anderson conspired against her during the Harvey’s 2005 divorce proceeding by convincing her to let Anderson represent both parties. The result, according to the lawsuit, was an unfair settlement leaving the former Mrs. Harvey out in the relative cold.
What’s more, Mary Harvey claims that one of the reasons her former husband pressured her to use Anderson as her attorney was to settle the divorce quickly and quietly in order to protect Steve Harvey’s public image. She accuses the performer of trying to cover up his adultery, his poor and neglectful parenting, “and physical and mental abuse of” Mary Harvey.
According to the complaint, “All of this was also done under the guise of protecting Steve Harvey’s image, who attempts to promote a packaged do-good, likeable, Christian-type image in the public eye.”
According to the lawsuit:
Over the past 10 years, Anderson had represented the married couple and their dozen plus businesses, including The Steve Harvey Radio Show, The Steve Harvey Show and the Kings of Comedy Tour. In 2005 when Mary Harvey decided to file for divorce, she asked Anderson who she should hire to represent her. Anderson then told Mary Harvey she did not need another lawyer and that it would be in her best interests if Anderson handled the case for both sides.
In light of their long-standing relationship, Mary Harvey trusted Anderson and agreed.
Aside from the obvious conflict of interest, Anderson also had ownership interests in the Harvey’s businesses that Mary Harvey did not know about at the time.
Anderson’s actions “clearly indicate that he was only looking out for the best interests of himself and Steve Harvey, whom he considered to be his ‘bread and butter.’ In order to protect the interests of Steve Harvey, Anderson was willing to feign representation of (Mary Harvey), ignore his legal duties to her and conspire with Steve Harvey so that Steve Harvey could obtain a larger share of the parties’ community estate,” it states in the lawsuit.
Acting as Mary Harvey’s attorney, Anderson told her that the estate would be divided equally, but when it came time to sign the divorce papers the day the couple appeared in court, Anderson told Mary Harvey she needed to sign the papers quickly and did not give her a chance to read the documents. Afterwards, once the divorce was granted, Anderson refused to divide up the property as he said he would do.
When Mary Harvey asked about child support, Anderson told her she could not legally receive more than $1,000 a month, despite the fact that community assets, including property in Collin and Denton counties, Texas, several bank accounts, investments and business interests are estimated at more than $10 million. In addition, Mary Harvey did not receive health insurance or continued payments from the couple’s businesses as she was promised.
Nevertheless, Anderson told Mary Harvey before signing the papers that she was getting a “great deal,” it states in the complaint.
Among several claims, Mary Harvey is suing for breach of contract, common law fraud, professional negligence and conspiracy. – Chris Vogel
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.