Comedian Steve Harvey has formally apologized in person to Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, whom he erroneously announced as winner at the Miss Universe pageant last month before rectifying his on-air flub.
“You’re the one person that I really wanted to talk to,” pageant host Harvey, 58, tells her in a preview clip of his daytime talk show that runs Tuesday. “Because of a mistake I made, I cast you into a spotlight, a place, that I never intended to, that I would not want to happen to anybody. I just want to say how sorry I am. I’m really -- I’m beyond sorry for what happened that night and that it was you.”
In a second clip, where both say the incident caused them sleepless nights, Harvey tells her, “I’ve wanted you to understand sincerely from me, from my heart, how I am as a person, that I would never do that for a publicity stunt, that I would never do that to hurt a women.... But no matter how tough it was for me, I cannot even imagine what it was like for you and I felt horrible about that. I just want to say how sorry I am for that moment for you. I really am.”
“I appreciate it,” responds Gutierrez, who had hugged him when she came onstage and grew tearful at one point. “Thank you so much.”
On Monday’s show, Harvey affirmed that the incident was no publicity stunt, saying “I’m going to do that to myself? See, here’s the part people don’t understand: My family got death threats. They threatened my wife, they threatened my children.” Dismissing speculation that substance abuse caused the error, he told his audience, “There’s not a person living on the face of this Earth that can swear that they’ve ever seen Steve Harvey inebriated, drunk or high.”
And newly crowned Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, 26, of the Philippines, vouched on his show that he had not missed rehearsals.
“He was there during technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals, even on the pageant day itself when we had the dress rehearsal early in the morning,” she confirmed. “He was there all throughout.”