Strange Things About Steve Harvey's Marriage

Third time's a charm, and that rings true for Steve Harvey's marriage to Marjorie Harvey– regardless of what the tabloids might say. The pair are cloying sweet in a way that makes even the most sugary romcom taste bitter. Apparently, that's just what happens when you finally land the one that got away.

In an interview with Essence, Marjorie admitted they drifted apart because of distance after meeting in the late 1980s. Little did they know that fate would eventually bring them back together, but some major drama needed to happen first. Cue: Marjorie marrying a legitimate drug kingpin and Steve's tumultuous divorce from his second wife. Who knew this funnyman had such a wild story arch? Like any marriage in the public eye, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey have faced their fair share of public scrutiny, whether it's the bizarre tabloid rumors that claim the pair is constantly divorcing or Steve's infamous Miss Universe mishap. Regardless, these two have stuck together through it all — which might just be the strangest part about their marriage, considering about 50 percent of America's blessed unions end in divorce. 

Here are some strange things about Steve and Marjorie Harvey's adorable marriage. Who knew love could be this sweet?

It was actually love at first sight

Steve and Marjorie Harvey's love story is the sort of thing from which fairy tales are made. They're proof that love at first sight can exist, even if it takes years to find your way together. According to Essence, the pair originally met in 1987 at a comedy club in Memphis where Harvey was performing. Marjorie entered the club late and crawled into the front row during the middle of his set. Steve gave her one look, stopped the show, and announced from the stage, "Lady, I don't know who you are, but I'm going to marry you one day." Marjorie wasn't immediately taken, but she said she did realize he was "the one" a few weeks after dating. Then he disappeared.

"I was becoming homeless, and so we only dated for a year, and I didn't have the money, so I never drove back to see her," he said in an episode of Family Feud. "...When I first met her, we dated until, like, '89. I was homeless. I got the show on the Apollo in '91. I made some money, but it was too late. She had gotten married, and I got married."

The pair reportedly reconnected after Harvey's 2005 divorce. As the story goes, when he found out Marjorie was also divorced, he took a private plane to Memphis the very next day. The pair has been together ever since.

Marjorie's ex-husband was a drug kingpin

Marjorie Harvey's first husband wasn't a talk show host, but he did have a certain level of notoriety ... with the FBI. That's right, Marjorie married a drug kingpin who spent decades in prison. According to Radar, she was investigated by the FBI and DEA in the early '90s while married to Jim Townsend. Townsend was reportedly indicted after trying to buy a whopping 40 kilos of cocaine. Though he was sentenced to life in prison, he only wound up serving 26 years before he was pardoned by then-President Barack Obama in January 2017. 

According to Townsend, who spoke to Radar, the FBI and DEA had evidence against Marjorie and supposedly believed the fashion icon was involved in Townsend's drug ring. Townsend claims the feds threatened to arrest her if he didn't cooperate. Marj was never charged, and she reportedly split with Townsend less than five years into his sentence. Since his release, Townsend has threatened to blow the lid off their relationship with a memoir he started writing in prison.

Steve was homeless after his first separation

Marjorie Harvey might have married a drug kingpin, but Steve Harvey didn't have it easy before they got together, either. At one point, the star was homeless and living in his Ford Tempo. What happened? According to People, Steve quit his first job to become a comedian, but the going was rough at first. Harvey had separated from his first wife, Marcia Harvey, and was living in his car on just $50 a week. "I sat down and started crying, but a voice said, 'If you keep going, I'm going to take you places you've never been,'" the talk show host told People. "It was like God said, 'Don't quit, you're almost there.'"

Today, Harvey's finances are stable. He's managed to build a multi-million-dollar empire, yet he credits Marjorie — rather than intense work ethic — for his fame and fortune. "Everything I have is because of this girl right here," he told Essence.

It seems like the Harveys are always getting divorced

Steve and Marjorie are somehow always — yet never — on the brink of divorce. The tabloids absolutely adore hurling divorce rumors at the longtime couple. In 2018, Radar claimed pal Kris Jenner was in the middle of their $400 million divorce drama (It should be noted that Steve only has an estimated $160 million net worth). Apparently, Marjorie "walked out" because Steve was keeping up with the Kardashian momager a little too well. They reportedly shared some "closed-door business meetings, endless phone chats and nonstop text messages." Okay, so why were Marjorie and Jenner smiling together on a boat in Portofino, Italy that same year? Answer: Because there was no $400 million divorce. 

Radar stuck to those divorce rumors in 2019, when it claimed Steve was on a "hush-hush mission to liquidate assets" before splitting from his longtime wife. He allegedly put four of his Texas homes on the market, two of which sold for around $2 million. He reportedly transferred ownership of another property in Texas to solely his name, leaving Marj in the dust. This time, his "$200 million business empire" was supposedly "on the line." Okay, then. 

They have a good sense of humor about the tabloid rumors

With all the divorce rumors raining on the Harveys' parade, you'd think they be a little bit sour, but Steve and Marjorie seem rock solid. The pair has even maintained a pretty good sense of humor about all the dirt surrounding them. In a May 2019 Instagram video, the couple dispelled divorce rumors by joking about the tabloids with son Broderick Harvey, Jr. In the clip, Broderick walks in and tells his parents he heard online that they were getting a divorce. Steve asks Marjorie if she's leaving, while Marjorie points her fingers and asks him the same thing. "Well if you leaving, when was you going to tell me?" Steve says. Marjorie quips, "I didn't know I was leaving. I just found out I was leaving."

Though they have managed to shake a laugh out of all those divorce rumors, they can't help but feel a little annoyed about serving as constant tabloid fodder. "I'm sick of it. They act like I don't have family," Steve told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "They act like my kids can't read. They don't care. They just go out to destroy people with no facts behind it."

There are no step-children in this blended family

Biology has nothing to do with parenthood. When Steve and Marjorie Harvey tied the knot in 2007, they brought more than just themselves into the marriage. According to Essence, the pair share seven kids between them: three from Marjorie's previous marriage and four from Steve's previous unions. Though they might not all be bound by blood, the Harveys are a solid-unit. "We don't use the term stepchildren. I never refer to my youngest daughter as my stepdaughter. She is my daughter," Steve told Good Morning America (via ABC News). "I don't want them to feel alienated when I introduce them."

Of course, blending their family wasn't a seamless process. In an interview with People, Steve revealed that his children weren't so hot on the idea initially, but he told them to "deal with it" because he didn't need their "permission." Marjorie took a gentler approach when working it out with her kids. "We knew this was right. But I just told them, 'Everyone is included. Everyone has access to their parents. Whatever you didn't have before, don't let that interfere with what you can have now,'" she told People.

They don't see eye-to-eye when it comes to grandparenting

Steve and Marjorie Harvey are proud grandparents to five grandchildren — and they certainly spoil their brood. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Steve admitted Marjorie is "all in" with being called "Nana," but he'd prefer if his offspring's offspring called him "Big Pimpin'" (Marjorie has disallowed that nickname). Regardless of semantics, Big Pimpin' would do anything for his crew, even if that means somehow being convinced to buy his grandkids an $8,500 teepee (a real thing he actually did).

Though Steve might enjoy spoiling his grandchildren with expensive gifts, he admitted in a separate interview with Ellen DeGeneres that he wasn't "as happy as most grandparents are" because he didn't "get it."  He was kind of looking forward to having an empty house — especially after raising seven children — but the grandkids were almost always around, and Marjorie was the one encouraging the sleepovers. "I've been waiting years for my kids to get out of my house," he said in an episode of Steve (via Atlanta Black Star). "I wanna be an empty nester. Now they come back to the house and they got some more people with 'em. They always bring 'em over and drop 'em off."

Marjorie helped Steve hear the music

It's no secret that the Harveys have a strong bond, but it might be stronger than any of us could have imagined. In an episode of Steve, the talk show host opened up about how he truly feels about his longtime wife. In a heartfelt monologue, the funnyman admitted that Marjorie helped him out of a dark depression. Things were so bad for the star that he found himself unable to listen to music, something he had loved that had been a huge part of his success as a radio personality.

"I had stopped listening to music because I was in such a dark place," he said. "...I play it for a living on the radio, but I lost it. You gave all that back to me. You made me comfortable with my fame. I never even enjoyed my fame ... I needed you. I needed you bad." Excuse us, but does anyone have a Kleenex?

Marjorie stuck by Steve through an intense lawsuit

There is no love story without some conflict, and the Harveys have plenty of it. The pair has navigated a few public scandals that involve Steve's ex-wife, Mary L. Vaughn, whom he was married to for nine years before their 2005 divorce. In 2017, Steve's former flame launched a $60 million lawsuit aimed at her famous ex.

According to Us Weekly, Vaughn sued Steve for literally murdering her soul. "Soul murder is achieved by a combination of torture, deprivation and brainwashing," she alleged in the legal papers. Vaughn accused the talk show host of threatening her, manipulating her, causing "intentional emotional distress" and "severe mental pain and suffering." She also accused Steve of kidnapping their son when he was 8 years old. According to Entertainment Tonight, the lawsuit was dismissed.

This wasn't the first time Vaughn was entangled in the legal system in connection to her divorce. Us Weekly reported that Steve's ex wife was found in "contempt of court" and jailed for 30 days after violating a divorce confidentiality clause in 2013. 

Marjorie considered suing Steve's ex

Marjorie has more or less let Steve fight his own battles — especially the ones regarding his ex-wives, but the fashion icon almost put her stiletto down in 2011, when she considered suing Mary L. Vaughn over claims that Marjorie was a homewrecker.

Marjorie's beef with Steve's ex began when Vaughn uploaded a group of videos on YouTube that aired her grievances about her former flame. According to Essence, one of the videos labeled the talk show host a "serial cheater" and accused Marjorie of being the other woman in his affair. For reference, Vaughn and Steve divorced in 2005, and Marjorie and Steve married two years later. Essence reported that Marjorie "retained a lawyer," but it was her husband who brought the incident to court.

According to CNN, Steve was initially unable to respond to Vaughn's YouTube videos because of a gag order that was part of their divorce terms, though the YouTube videos that claimed Steve left Vaughn homeless were reportedly a clear violation. In 2011, a judge temporarily lifted the order so Steve could defend himself, and defend himself he did. The star claimed Vaughn got three houses in the divorce, along with some significant spousal support. Vaughn was ordered by a judge to remove the videos, and Marj apparently never pulled the trigger on a defamation suit.

Marjorie supported Steve through his worst TV moment

In sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and in fame and public embarrassment. Those vows obviously meant a lot to Marjorie Harvey because she stood by her man during one of the most embarrassing mishaps of his entire career. 

In 2015, Steve was met with an onslaught of public scrutiny when he mistakenly crowned the wrong woman Miss Universe. According to CNN, the talk show host accidentally named Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, the pageant winner when she was really first runner-up. Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the girl who was meant to have the crown. Steve quickly corrected his mistake, but the damage was done. The backlash was severe. "Here's the part that people don't understand. My family got death threats," Harvey said during an episode of Steve. "They threatened my wife, [and] they threatened my children. I mean, I had people camped outside my house."

Despite the threats and the public embarrassment, Marjorie remained proud of her husband. In an Instagram post, she wrote, "You are a stand up man and a true class act the way you went back out on the stage on live TV and took full responsibility alone. I am so proud to be your wife!"

That time Steve should have listened to his wife

Wifey knows best– and Steve admits it now. In 2017, the talk show host took a meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower. Though Marjorie told Steve to skip it and celebrate his 60th birthday instead, he followed through with the plans, which were reportedly set up by the Obama transition team. The Obamas are personal friends, so why not?

Well, the big "why not" was the intense backlash that ensued. Steve got almost as much heat as the Trump Tower meeting (you know, that one from the Mueller Investigation). In an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Steve admitted the backlash was "so vicious that it really threw me." He said, "I was being called names that I've never been called: Uncle Tom. A coon. A sellout. Because I went to see this man?!" He added, "God, I should've listened [to Marjorie]." You live and you learn.