Shirley Strawberry, Steve Harvey’s Co-Host, Apologizes For Things Said In Leaked Prison Convos With Estranged Husband

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Shirley Strawberry, a co-host on The Steve Harvey Morning Show, apologized to her boss and his wife Monday morning, Sept. 11, on the show after leaked audio captured her talking about Steve and his wife to her incarcerated husband.

Shirley’s apology happened during “The Strawberry Letter” segment of the show, where the show’s co-host publicly apologized for her comments about Marjorie seeing them as “the help” and Steve’s health.

“Right here and now, I want to apologize to you and Marjorie for what I said,” Shirley stated. “As much as I wish I could, I can’t take it back. I can’t. I said it, and I want to apologize. It was definitely not me trying to add to what you and Marjorie already have going on in your lives right now. But the fact that these tapes were released, it does seem like everyone is coming…for you, including me.”

Shirley continued, “But in reality, the tapes have nothing to do with what you and Marjorie have going on. It was just me running my mouth in a private conversation or what I thought was a private conversation. Again, I apologize. I feel terrible. I make no excuses. I said what I said…there’s no denying it.”

Shirley claimed her intentions weren’t to harm Steve and Marjorie but to uplift her husband, Earnest “Ernesto” Williams, spirits and divert his thoughts from his legal troubles. The 63-year-old media personality knew the calls were recorded but not publicized.

She added that her estranged husband’s situation embarrassed her, and felt she couldn’t confide in her co-workers or others. 

Steve forgave her and assured her that their co-workers always talked about each other, but the love remained. 


The Family Feud host’s frustration centered on how Shirley’s audio clip leaked, referring to it as the devil’s work.

Steve implied a Fulton County jail worker could’ve acted in defiance to make an extra buck, regardless of whose life they destroyed, sharing his wife’s story of her being blamed for his failed first marriage.

Ultimately, the crew agreed that it was all water under the bridge and that they loved Shirley regardless.

MadameNoire previously reported that the call occurred between October and November 2022. Shirley spoke to Ernesto about how Steve had an enormous gym inside his home yet struggled to walk up the stairs. 

“I was really surprised about that because when he walked up those stairs, he was very winded,” Shirley told Ernesto. “I don’t know if he does cardio. I think he just lifts weights and stuff. I don’t know if he does cardio. You got to do something for your heart.”

Shirley conveyed that she felt Marjorie looked down on her and Ernesto as though they were “the help” but didn’t go into details. 

In her apology to her employer and his wife, Shirley announced she and Ernesto’s divorce proceedings were “underway.” This came after one part of the series of leaked phone audio revealed Ernesto had allegedly been cheating on Shirley for a while.

The audio captured Ernesto flirting with a mysterious woman who wasn’t his wife, asking her to send pictures of her lying in bed in a tank top and another with her wearing glasses. Toward the end of the call, Ernesto said, “When that thang gets hot, just pat it.” 

The 63-year-old co-host also clarified that she didn’t meet Ernesto through Steve but through an ex-friend. Shirley and Ernesto got engaged in 2014 and married in 2015. Eventually, he was hit with gun possession, theft, fraud, and child pornography charges, which led him to get arrested in 2022. He’s currently serving his 23-month sentence.


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