Steve Harvey is being sued for $20 million by videographer Joseph Cooper, who’s claiming the veteran comedian is preventing him from selling videos that he’s legally permitted to distribute. Cooper, of Close Up Video Productions, entered into a contract with Harvey in March of 1993 to become the exclusive videoagrapher for Harvey’s live stand-up performances, which, in contrast to Harvey’s current comedy, is much edgier. But Cooper now claims Harvey is trying to stop the sale of said videos, according to a 13-page complaint filed in Federal Court.
Last year Cooper attempted to produce and sell the first volume of a five-volume DVD set titled Steve Harvey: Live, Raw & Uncensored. But Harvey’s lawyers told the to-be distributors Music Video Distributors that Harvey hadn’t given Cooper permission to sell the videos and if distributed they would sue MVD.
“Harvey knew that Cooper intended to use his videos of Harvey’s performances to create videos that would be sold at retail” Cooper’s complaint states. “Harvey did not disagree with Cooper’s plans, but requested that Cooper delay in selling videos using Harvey’s performances. Cooper understood that the release of the videos might interfere with Harvey’s plans for his career at that time. Cooper decided to delay his Harvey video project because the videos would become more valuable if Harvey became a bigger celebrity.”
Harvey hasn’t responded to Cooper’s complaint. Harvey, part of The Original Kings of Comedy, has found massive success as a daytime talk show host, radio show host, host of Family Feud, author, actor, motivational speaker and stand-up comedian since his early days a Dallas-based comedian.