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Mary Vaughn, the former wife of funnyman and TV/radio host Steve Harvey, was arrested Thursday after a judge found her in contempt of court where she remains. But, she’s talking, though.

Vaughn’s partly in jail as result a long legal fight with Harvey that just hasn’t gone her way at all. Mary and Steve were married for 16 years, but it ended in a bitter divorce and custody battle in 2005. One could argue that the battle continues to this day.  In any event, the divorce case  is sealed and under a gag order.

Vaughn is serving 30 days in lockdown, but reached out to the media to tell her side of the story. FOX 4, the Fox News affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth answered the call.

“I didn’t violate any court orders,” Vaughn told the station. “This is about ‘You’re not supposed to be talking to anybody about your divorce.’ That’s what they’re saying. I’m like, this is America.”

Vaughn says she showed up at court without an attorney because she can’t afford one, adding that Harvey was in court with a legal team and an entourage.

“I was not expecting a four hour long hearing without an attorney,” she said.

“Am I angry? Yes,” said Vaughn. “I missed six years of my son’s life and I can’t get those years back.”

Vaughn’s release date isn’t until Jan 17.

“I’m just a mother who wants to have access to my son without interference,” she said. “I’m tired of getting pulled down to McKinney (Texas) courthouse every time I say ‘Boo.’ I’m not going to be silenced.”

Harvey has custody of the couple’s teenage son.

FOX 4 contacted Steve Harvey’s attorney for a response, who released the following statement:

“Please be advised that the Law Offices of Bobbie Edmonds represents. Mr. Steve Harvey, in the legal matter which has arisen from another episode of YouTube releases, which contain false, misleading, derogatory, defamatory, disparaging and malicious information about Mr. Harvey, his wife, and children by his ex-wife, Mary Vaughn Woolridge. (current married name) and formerly known as Mary L. Harvey, individually, and through her agent, representative and co-conspirator, Essie Berry aka EssieRerunBerry aka Essie Rerun Berry! aka Essie Nickerson aka Essie Jackson aka Essie Alexander. We filed another Motion for Contempt and Enforcement against Mary Vaughn Woolridge for the recent social media smear campaign and slanderous 2008 child abuse allegations against Mr. Harvey, among other violations of the prior gag order and permanent injunctions issued in 2008, 2011 and early 2013.”

Watch the Fox 4 report above.

Cheaper To Keep ‘Em – Expensive Divorces
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43 thoughts on “Steve Harvey’s Ex-Wife Mary Vaughn Tells Her Side of the Story … from Jail

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  3. I read that Steve and Mary were married from 1996 to 2005; by my calculations that is 9 years not 16. There are 3 sides to a marriage break up her side , his side and the truth. The old saying says hell has no fury like a woman scorned.

  4. Gina smith on said:


    She made it through the pain, hurt, hopelessness and self questioning. Yes, there are books, pamphlets and articles about pushing past pain, yet in the end you are you very own book. You, your journey, your plight will determine your triumph. Every victory is personal as is every grievance or bereavement period.

    Faith, hope and Gods grace are the primary tools used in determining how swiftly we overcome any adversity. Once we adhere to that fact the better we become. It appears at the points she’s done just that. She seems to have restored faith and appears void of hopeless, bitterness and anger.

    Currently she takes accountability for past actions/approaches. Her bravery for recognizing her silence was killing her. (That was a personal journey not yours nor mine). For her, silence was debilitating. Furthermore, the mention of a Christ like walk. Not just Mr. Harvey and his current wife, but it is hypocritical to proclaim a Christ like walk, to proclaim you embody and embrace yet, your Lifes’ Letter contains flaws you choose not to address accordingly. The great commission being about Gods Family, you being part of Gods Great big Family, yet fray far away from that which keeps your family whole and in tact. I see no valid reason for abolishing her relationship with her son.

    If our lives are said to speak of our faith and those around us should know of our faith through our actions this is one area Mr. Harvey at the very least should seek to tweak/adjust. Winton should be able and available to fellowship with his MOTHER. Granted, I’m sure Marjorie is a great mom, but she is not Winton’s MOTHER. Steve needs to make a mental, emotional and physical effect, not just be valiant in reporting his financial one. His life must match His message….It’s hypocritical to impose on others relationship the very same assertions you don’t apply to your relation(SHIPS). 

    God Bless!!!! I pray this get better for all involved…

  5. October on said:

    Maybe htis woman should have the chance to speak. Maybe there is something that Steve does not want us to know. Was he abusive? What will he say to his their childern when they are older? Makes one ask questions.

  6. if this lady was a good mother to her child.her saying something about steve Harvey should not have made her lose custody of her child.that is ridiculous!!he can say anything about her but she can’t say nothing!!where is the freedom of speech.i quess it’s only for a few!!!this is America isn’t it!!!!?

  7. What??!! he put his EX in jail during the holidays..what do their think about that? hmmm That wasn’t nice Steve. The “rich man” won’t share his son.

  8. byeuvixen on said:

    Really, this is none of my business or anyone else’s. Get the speck out of your eye before looking for the speck in another’s eye.

    • Its wise to just pray for this situation because everyone has there own attention but no one was there when all of this took place so its best to be quiet

  9. To all people blaming Steve Harvey for this mess: 1st it’s none of your business, 2nd the women has allowed her greed and jealous rage cause her to lose everything the man did not kill her her left her DIVORCED her then she had him back and forth in court telling lies about the child abuse that was investigated and found to be a lie to the point she lost custody of the son now it’s everybody fault but hers!!! She may be hurt but it’s time to move on.

  10. I don’t think some of you really understand the purpose of a gag order. You’re asking what does he have to hide as though his relationship and divorce is our business to begin with. EVERYONE should have a right to privacy in a divorce. Would you want your OWN relationship business published in blogs, articles and social media sites? This is just basic common sense.

    As far as her comment on this is America, yes, it is, but America also salivates at the idea of any type of scandal, and what’s worse is irresponsible bloggers (posing as journalists) will just start making things up or re-report on an “unnamed source” about things they have never bothered to verify. Now imagine someone writing about your own relationship. Don’t know either of you. Hell, you two aren’t even on a reality show but there’s post after post after post about a divorce that should’ve BEEN over with. I completely understand the need for a gag order.

    But please read what it actually is before you assume he must be hiding some skeletons. Everyone with a gag order isn’t a lunatic. They just prefer privacy:

    GAG ORDER n. a judge’s order prohibiting the attorneys and the parties to a pending lawsuit or criminal prosecution from talking to the media or the public about the case. The supposed intent is to prevent prejudice due to pre-trial publicity which would influence potential jurors. A gag order has the secondary purpose of preventing the lawyers from trying the case in the press and on television, and thus creating a public mood (which could get ugly) in favor of one party or the other.

  11. elaine on said:

    what’s in the gag order is that steve beat his wife and kids and he should pay dearly take his money cancel his shows see how it feel.

  12. americabev on said:

    dear Mary, I want you to know that I am hurting on your behalf. I just emailed this to family feud and I wanted to share It with you:

    I have loved Steve Harvey since the original Kings of Comedy. I have always found him extremely funny. I loved your host that used to be on Seinfeld and I don’t know why you got rid of him but I love Steve as the host too. He really makes me laugh with those silly looks he gets on his face.

    It has come to my attention that Steve had his ex wife thrown into jail over the holidays and does not allow the mother of his child to see her own child. I also heard a segment from Steve’s radio show where he is bashing his ex wife. His ex wife gets on YouTube to try to defend herself and he has her thrown in jail???

    I also read all kinds of crap where they say that Steve is a playa and he is already messing around on his new wife. I could give a crap about shit like that. That’s something that is between adults and he probably has an open marriage anyway. That is none of my business. What I do care about is a poor mothers heart breaking and her child being ripped away from her. That showed me that Steve is clearly a piece of human garbage.

    He better make things right with that mother and her child or I will go on a campaign contacting each and every one of your advertisers and letting them know that they should not advertise on a show claiming Family Values when Steve clearly has none. That is not a threat, its a promise.

    Oh and make sure to tell Steve he is not fooling anyone about pulling him up on Google. What a joke! I’ve never seen so many links and advertisements on a person trying to avoid people from finding out what’s really going on with them. He’s got people 24 /7 working on his SEO. Sheesh. Embarrassing!

    Emailed to

  13. Carolyn Askew on said:

    I don’t get it. How can there be a 16 year marraige and the woman gets a child taken and end up with nothing. Evicted out of the house. The mother of your child! What a cheap S.O.B.

  14. —-“I didn’t violate any court orders,” Vaughn told the station. “This is about ‘You’re not supposed to be talking to anybody about your divorce.’ That’s what they’re saying. I’m like, this is America.”—

    And “like” when you got all the cash and you “signed a contract to shut up” that means to “shut up” and go away !!!!

    “Like” that is what you wanted, LIKE DA CASH !!!!!

    • I was thinking the same thing. Regardless of how she feels about him, once a gag order goes into play, that’s it. It’s not a question of freedom of speech. It’s the legal system, and the public doesn’t have a right to know every single detail of their marriage. That SHOULD be between the two of them and their kids…and that’s about it. The rest of the folks on this comment board who are speculating from the outside looking in are amazing to me. Don’t know either of these people personally but I have so much to say on the topic.

  15. Some people will believe anything especially when it concerns a celebrity. Steve Harvey you will pay for your sins and there will be no talk show for you to tell it on. GOD is the only reality and your so called blessings did not come from him. You worship a different master entirely. Your son will despise you when he gets of age and is able to learn the truth.

    • Monica on said:

      Wow since when do people get locked up for being a complete a$$hole ?? We do live in America and if that is a law you better watch out yourself !!!!

      • Monica on said:

        Dawn, I apologize that reply was for another poster don;t know why it ended up under you !!!!

  16. Season on said:

    Mary is just hurting over things in her life that she has no control over. She can probably handle being broke, but not having her son in her life is a pain that she doesn’t seem to know how to handle. I don’t agree with the way she is going about her pain…but I do understand the reason. This is the only way she can let her son know that I am fighting for a relationship with you. Here it is 6 years and she still trying to contact him the only way she knows how because Steve and Margie has built this new blended family without her. When she is the one who raised and gave birth to this new family.
    While Steve and Mary were married Steve had no complaint about her raising their kids while he was on the road touring….but….now that they are divorced….she is an unfit mother, to the point that she cannot talk to her son nor can she see him. Steve needs to step up and be the man we know he is and help his son and Mary build their relationship from the present with Forgiveness and Love. It is not going to be easy but it can be done with patience and understanding.
    No parent is perfect we all make mistakes and sometimes make decisions we regret when it comes to our children…but in the end we love our children and want to be apart of their lives and them ours.
    Steve and his wife needs to help mother and son bond. They can start with supervised visitations. They are teaching their blended family to fight to be a family by getting along well, they need to do the same for Mary and her son. In doing this they help themselves, Mary and most importantly their son. The last thing they want to happen is for him to resent them for not guiding him on the way to have a relationship with his mother. Help Mary and her son meet each other where they are at. Guide them to a better relationship.
    Steve and Margie then you all will have peace and a smile from God. J
    God Bless….

  17. Jacinda Nelson on said:

    Obviously this woman has mental issues whether anyone which to acknowledge it or not. The Court Order said “Keep Your Mouth shut” so no more defaming your ex…yet she didn’t. Good, lock her up and make her undergo a psychological eval., because it’s been too long of a time to not have moved on! Also, those of you with nothing better to do than run your mouth… why don’t some of you mind your business, raise your children and better your community? At least that’s what I’m doing and if any of you need to find a good non-profit to join per above mentioned words…Google: Ambassador Sterling Foundation and do something meaningful with your life and leave these Crazies alone!

  18. jarnard on said:

    something is wrong…..why a gag order. They were married 16yrs. now a gag order. Why would Steve show up in court with all those lawyers? Something is just not right. Mary keep on standing up for the right. Steve you may have the money but… your heart right.

  19. PI$$POOR LEAGLSYSTEM on said:


  20. lavernve on said:

    Tom please stop putting her stuff on your website this is the reason why you and steve ain’t cool no more because you put his wife on before with the lies she saying he stole her son when in fact see sent him to steve without him even knowing she was sending him and she said she was homeless he left her three house and almost 1.5 million Tom this story ended up hurting her again if her son wants to see his mom he is old enough to call her she has to move on she is remarried also and he is doing much more know radio show tv show game show see feel left out

    • redflower on said:

      Gag orders are a way of silencing and controlling mothers who are challenging custody cases and pretty much protect the courts and abusers from being publicly shamed. Maybe the mother can attempt to appeal this decision and even the sole custody arrangement. Praying for the son who has a mother who has been stripped from him. Praying for all of them.

  21. OMG, between her and D-Wade’s ex wife, they are really a trip. Yes, there are always three sides to a story..”yours, mine and the truth”, but at what point do these women start “living” their lives, because their ex’s have surely moved on with theirs!

    • Why you so dumb? This Steve? Bruh. She misses her son. Reading comprehension’s not your thing. Or you just have no soul … which would be typical

  22. Daniel Asamota on said:

    Why can’t this woman shut up? She doesn’t have a case! I know she’s mad about getting stiffed for her equal share of the Steve Harvey fortune, but it’s time to get over it! I warned her she’d end up in jail and those sentences will get longer and longer until she learns to shut her damn mouth!

    • Some people don’t give a shit about money. She’s fighting for her son. Money doesn’t mean shit. Six years without your precious child. Come on. Think for a split second.

  23. Reading between the lines, it looks like she is supposed to not say anothing about him per the terms of their divorce agreement/gag order. SHe is NOW saying stuff on youtube. Yes, this is American. But if you signed an agreement to NOT say anything. You have to abide by that. FLAT OUT!! The judge wouldn’t have thrown her in jail for contempt unless she violated some rule or agreement. We may not know the whole story, but this is what it appears to be. If she can’t afford an attorney, then maybe she should just stop running her mouth and go sit down. Not trying to be mean, just keepin it real!!

    • I’d risk a million court cases to tell my story, my truth. Lawyers and lawsuits, be damned. Fuck the system. It didn’t prosecute people who deserved to be, so I will name them. I don’t care what occurs to me. Truth is important. So are mothers’ sons.

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