In part two of our exclusive interview with New York Times best-selling author, comedian, actor, entrepreneur, radio personality and philanthropist Steve Harvey, the husband and father of five sounds off on why a man should always turn the other cheek in a violent altercation with a woman and why Chris Brown might want to consider college.
ESSENCE.COM: Despite reports that Rihanna was the first to strike, do you still believe the alleged violence wasn’t warranted?
STEVE HARVEY: Yes, I’ve heard that she slapped him while he was driving, but where are his bruises and marks? I don’t see a single scratch on his face, and I didn’t read about him having to go to the hospital. Again, whatever she did she didn’t deserve the picture I saw.
ESSENCE.COM: Why do you feel so strongly about this?
HARVEY: I have been kicked and slapped by a woman, but I just walked away. I am 52 years old and I have never hit a woman, and it has never occurred to me to hit a woman—ever. Neither my father nor any of my brothers have ever hit a woman. I was raised by men and you just don’t do that, and I teach my sons the same: If a woman hits you, walk away.
ESSENCE.COM: What else do you tell your sons?
HARVEY: [I tell them] what happens is, if a man retaliates against a woman, it will be an unfair fight. As men, we have this thing called testosterone and when that rises up in a man and mixes with adrenaline, man, it’s a kind of strength and speed that no woman can fathom. Women don’t even know what they’ve tapped into and it’s a level of ferociousness that is unmatched. A fight between a man and a woman is an uneven match—there’s no contest, so again, fellas need to walk away.
ESSENCE.COM: A rehabilitation expert suggested that Chris Brown record a remorseful song to help rebuild his public image. Do you think this will help redeem him?
HARVEY: I think he’s going to have to look into some other avenues and get a college education. Honestly, I don’t know how you climb out of this black hole, especially when your fans are mostly women. A lot of women were affected by what he did. See, what many people fail to realize is that women are the reason a man is famous. Men are not famous because of men. I learned that a long time ago. I know my daughters have said to me that Chris Brown can’t sing to them anymore because of what he allegedly did. I believe everybody should have the chance to redeem themselves and Chris Brown should be given the opportunity to do so.
ESSENCE.COM: Do you think Chris Brown’s fans will forgive him?
HARVEY: If he needs forgiveness, I’m cool with that. I believe he can become a better person from this if he learns from his mistakes. I’ve met Chris a couple of times and he seemed to be a nice kid, but if he did do this, well, we’ve all seen the photos of Rihanna—he really needs counseling.
Check out Steve Harvey’s New York Times best-selling book, “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” (Harper Collins), in stores now.