Harvey tells PEOPLE the moment when he he mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner of Miss Universe (instead of the actual winner, Miss Philippines) was "devastating"

By Emily Strohm
Updated May 26, 2016 10:40 AM
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Credit: Andrew Hetherington

From homeless to $100 million! Steve Harvey opens up exclusively to PEOPLE about overcoming homelessness to build an entertainment empire. Subscribe now for an inside look at how he finally found happiness with the love of his life!

Steve Harvey managed to get through his infamous Miss Universe flub with the support of his wife.

Harvey calls the incident – in which he he mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner of the pageant instead of the actual winner, Miss Philippines – “devastating.”

But Marjorie, his wife of nine years, encouraged him to move forward, Harvey says in this week’s PEOPLE cover story.

“[She said,] ‘I’m proud of the way you handled it. Don’t beat yourself up,’ ” Harvey, 59, recalls. “Of course, that didn’t heal Colombia. I can’t go to Colombia ever!”

For much more on Steve Harvey’s life, pick up the upcoming issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

The Little Big Shots host credits his wife, 51, with much of his success, which has seen his estimated $100 empire span to include talk shows, books and hit film adaptations.

“It was like being reborn,” he says of reconnecting with Marjorie, whom he briefly dated when he was still a struggling comic. “I messed up so many times in my life. She made all the difference. When you’re happy at home, you can make a lot of things happen.”