Veteran comedian and TV personality Steve Harvey has refuted claims that his Miss Universe mix-up was a publicity stunt in his first official address after the incident.
Steve Harvey made the mistake of announcing the wrong Miss Universe winner, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo, instead of Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, in front of the whole world in December.
Following the mistake fans took Twitter where they trolled him and demanded that he apologises to Miss Colombia, Miss Philippines and the world while expressing their doubts that the mistake was genuine.
Speaking on his radio show, Harvey said:
You want to do a publicity stunt, you do it yourself. I’m already famous,” the Family Feud host said. “Do you really think I wanted to be famous like this?”
“Did I make a mistake? Yes I did. “You make a mistake, own up to it, so I went out there and I said I made a mistake and I tried to fix it, I tried to fix it right there,” he added.
Going on to explain his error, Harvey said, “When the mistake was made, when I said the wrong woman’s name, I could only give the information that I had, and that information is not on the teleprompter because you’ve got two women standing there.”
“I read what was on the teleprompter, then I read what was on the card the difference being on the card it said first runner up.”
Speaking on the confusion that ensued, he explained, “I’ve got a guy in my ear going, ‘We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to do something.’”
“That’s what it was, utter confusion, everybody backstage. So I took it upon myself and I walked out there to do something.”
He also said that he “has reached out to Miss Colombia” but “hasn’t been able to get a response from her.”
Steve Harvey’s only regret is how this must have made the woman from Colombia feel.
“I don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t feel sorry for the pageant. The pageant will now be bigger than it’s ever been,” he said.
“I felt for her more than me because…I haven’t been waiting all my life for this moment,” he added.
Some false claims continue to haunt him relentlessly, particularly rumors that he was ill prepared or that the entire ordeal was a purposeful act to gain attention.
“I went to more rehearsals than I’ve ever gone to for anything,” he revealed, adding that he attended a table read, full walk through, and full show dress rehearsal before the big night.