*A videographer named Joseph Cooper filed a federal lawsuit against Steve Harvey last year, accusing him of attempting to block the sale of raw stand-up videos of the comedian from early in his career. Now Cooper is dragging Harvey’s ex-wife into the $20 million dollar lawsuit.
In court docs obtained by theJasmineBRAND.com, Cooper explained that back in 1993, he entered into a deal with Harvey to be his exclusive videographer for his comedy club shows. He said he shot over 120 hours of original footage and the deal was that he would then edit the footage and sell videos of the performances. He claims Harvey asked him to delay selling the tapes because he thought it would interfere with his career at the time, which Cooper agreed to because he thought the footage would become more valuable once Harvey hit the big time.
Cooper said the footage shows Harvey doing material that is much different from his current image, and Steve feared it could have a negative impact on his career. Fast forward to 1998, Harvey agreed to pay Cooper $5 million to not sell the videos but Cooper claims he never received payment.
Then in 2013, Cooper says he worked out a deal with a distributor where he would make 75% royalties on the sale of a tape entitled, “Steve Harvey Live, Raw & Uncensored.” but Harvey’s legal team contacted the company and said Cooper did not have the rights to sell the footage and the deal fell through.
Cooper filed suit against Harvey demanding $20 million dollars in damages due to him blocking the sale and lying about him not having the rights to sell the video.
Harvey has fired back at the lawsuit, demanding it be thrown out because Cooper failed to produce a contract signed by Steve giving away all rights to the footage. Harvey said he wouldn’t enter into such a deal where he would gain nothing from it.
On June 18th, docs were filed in the case explaining who each party intends to depose, with Cooper intending to grill Harvey’s lawyers and other representatives he had at the time of the videos being shot. He also plans to question Mary Harvey – Steve’s now infamous ex-wife – about her knowledge of the situation.
Unfortunately, Steve and Mary have a long history of public sparring following their 2005 divorce. She posted videos online accusing him of cheating and leaving her homeless with their child. Steve took her back to court accusing her of violating the gag order in their divorce, which lead to Mary being locked up over the videos. Recently, she accused Steve of child abuse and was arrested for leaking portions of the investigation into her allegation to the media. Steve was cleared of all charges following the investigation.