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Steve Harvey has been cleared of child abuse allegations brought forth by his ex-wife and then 11-year-old son in 2008 of viciously beating the boy, TMZ reports.

Since Harvey and his ex-wife, Mary Vaughn Woolridge, divorced in 2005 after 16 years of marriage, the two have been in a bitter child custody battle that includes allegations of child abuse against their son, who is now 16. The divorce case is sealed and under a gag order, but Mary was arrested Thursday and held in contempt of court for allegedly leaking sealed information from that order to the media.

She is expected to be released next year, according to Fox 4 Dallas Fort Worth.

As for the child abuse allegations, Vaughn said in a police report that Harvey had gotten a call from their son’s school claiming that the boy had lied about a homework assignment. Harvey allegedly hit him with a belt and paddle, the kind used by fraternities, according to the police report obtained by TMZ. The cops took photos of the boy’s injuries, which showed bruises on his buttocks and legs. The boy claims that he had trouble urinating for days as a result of the beating.

The matter was referred to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Vaughn, Harvey and other people were interviewed. The CPS results stated in part, …”Based on the information obtained, the child does not appear to be at risk…the case is closed without further investigation…” Mrs. Woolridge was fully aware and informed of the results of the CPS Investigation.”

(Editor’s note: Mary’s last name is different in several news reports. TMZ has her last name as, “Harvey.” Us Weekly as it as,” Mary Lee Shackelford and Fox 4 has it as, “Mary Vaughn Woolridge.” NewsOne is going with Fox 4’s version.)

In an interview conducted by Fox 4 from a Colin County jail, in Texas, Vaughn told the news station that she did not violate the gag order. Here is part of that interview:

“I didn’t violate any court orders,” said Vaughn. “This is about ‘You’re not supposed to be talking to anybody about your divorce.’ That’s what they’re saying. I’m like, this is America.”

Vaughn says she showed up at court without an attorney because she can’t afford one, adding that Harvey was in court with a legal team and an entourage.

“I was not expecting a four hour long hearing without an attorney,” she said.

“Am I angry? Yes,” said Vaughn. “I missed six years of my son’s life and I can’t get those years back.”

Vaughn’s release date isn’t until Jan 17.

“I’m just a mother who wants to have access to my son without interference,” she said. “I’m tired of getting pulled down to McKinney courthouse every time I say ‘Boo.’ I’m not going to be silenced.”

Vaughn’s release date is Jan. 17. Harvey has custody of their son, who is now 16-years-old.

According to Us Weekly, the comedian is “currently married to his third wife, Marjorie Bridges. He and his first ex-wife, Marcia Harvey, are parents to twin daughters Brandy and Charlie, 31, and son Steve Jr., 22.”


SOURCE: TMZ, Fox 4 Dallas Fort Worth, Us Weekly| PHOTO CREDIT: Getty