Steve Harvey is calling the $60-million lawsuit filed by his ex-wife Mary Shackelford “meritless,” “frivolous” and “completely false.”
“Mr. Harvey vehemently denies any allegations set forth in the lawsuit,” said the statement issued to Entertainment Tonight from his attorney, Brandon R. Williams. “The complaint is meritless, frivolous and the allegations are completely false. We will vigorously defend/counterclaim against the complaint.”
Shackelford, also known as Mary Vaughn, and Harvey were married for nine years before their high-profile divorce in 2005 and documents obtained by E! Online claim her life has been turned upside down ever since the split.
Her lawsuit accuses Harvey of torture, intentional infliction of emotional distress, child endangerment and “soul murder,” among other things.
“Soul murder is achieved by a combination of torture, deprivation and brainwashing,” the documents state.
The papers also state that Shackelford’s son, Wynton Harvey, was taken away from her when Harvey won custody of him after their split and she “had her businesses taken from her, nowhere to live [and] all Mother’s Days had been painful and empty.”
As a result, the suit says Shackleford has resorted to self-medicating and has felt suicidal.
The lawsuit was not filed by an attorney but by civil rights activist Essie Berry “in pro per,” meaning Shackelford will represent herself, according to ET.
In April, Shackelford posted a series of YouTube videos detailing her issues with Steve Harvey.
“I cry throughout the day because I feel like somebody reached into me and pulled Wynton out of me — that’s how I feel. Because we were very close,” Shackelford said of her 19-year-old son. “And every day I think about him. I can’t do anything else. He’s my joy, my sunshine. He’s everything to me and Steve always knew that, which is why he worked so hard to take Wynton from me. And to keep me out of Wynton’s life.”
Shackelford served a 30-day jail sentence in 2013 after violating a gag order that is part of her divorce settlement with Harvey.