Steve Harvey is speaking out about his heated interview with Mo’Nique.
Harvey decided to break his silence after the Wednesday, Feb. 13 sit-down on Steve received criticism from fans who accused him of talking over Mo’Nique and failing to hear her side of the argument.
The 62-year-old entertainer addressed these concerns on Sunday, Feb. 17, telling People: “I’ve got to slow down when I’m talking. I can’t get into heated discussions, and I’ve got to just guard my words more carefully.”
Harvey, who took issue with the way the Oscar winner has conducted herself over the past few years, added: “I take full responsibility for it, it came out my mouth, so I can’t say that I didn’t say it.”
“But to people that really know me, I have lived my whole life as a man of integrity. So when I was referring to ‘integrity’ in that interview, I was talking about the method in which things were being done, and that is all it was,” he continued.
The King of Comedy became frustrated with Mo’Nique as she recalled being “blackballed” in Hollywood for standing up for herself against powerful people in the industry.
Mo’Nique said she and her husband Sidney Hicks, who serves as her manager, “got labeled as difficult” for demanding that she be paid to campaign for the 2009 film Precious, as the team behind the film worked to boost its chances at winning awards.
Harvey told the actress and comedian instead of refusing, she should have played the Hollywood “money game.”
Mo’Nique, who has publicly criticized Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey — the film’s director and producers — shot back: “Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game, and we’ve lost the integrity worrying about the money.”
Harvey now says he regrets how he handled the interview, touching on the example he hopes to set for the young people who participate in his Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp.
“I shouted out and it happened, I regret it, but I want young people, the kids that come to my camps, the young people that I mentor, the fans that really respect me, to know to just charge that one to my head and not to my heart,” he added. “Because in my heart, that is not what I have asked anyone to do. I have lived my whole life as a man of integrity, and I will stand on that, but I was really just talking about the method that they went about doing what they did, and that was it.”
As for Mo’Nique, she reposted a clip of the interview Friday on Instragram, that had been edited to include snippets from “Roots” about slavery, serving “master” and spending time in the “big house.” The clip was titled “selling out.”