Steve Harvey releases first statement on Miss Universe 2015 mix-up

APOLOGIES. Steve Harvey says that he regrets how his mistake made Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez feel, and that she has not responded to his attempts to reach out and apologize. Screengrab from Instagram/iamsteveharveytv

APOLOGIES. Steve Harvey says that he regrets how his mistake made Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez feel, and that she has not responded to his attempts to reach out and apologize.

Screengrab from Instagram/iamsteveharveytv

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2015 host Steve Harvey has finally broken his silence about the coronation night mix-up.

On Monday, January 4, Steve released a statement online, which was recorded during his radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show. For the statement, Steve's co-hosts asked him questions about the incident.

In the statement, Steve said that he has apologized for the incident to everyone involved – Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, the people running the pageant, the pageant director – except Miss Colombia.

"I tried to fix it and I tried to fix it right there. And when I did it, it was horrible. It was horrible to Miss Colombia. And she's the only one I haven't had a chance to talk to," he said.

"Now, have I tried?" he asked later. "Yes. But I've got not a response."

Later on, Steve said that his only regret about his mistake was how it must have made Ariadna feel.

"I don't feel sorry for me. I don't feel sorry for the pageant – the pageant will now be bigger that it's been. My only regret is how this woman felt, and none of us can know what that is... I felt for her more than me. Because look, I'm just a man, I've not been waiting all my life for this moment. So I felt for that. But at the same time, how could I not let Miss Philippines, who actually won the event – she got the most points, she actually was the real winner – so why would I wait [until after the live show to correct myself]?"

During the interview on his show, Steve also answered questions about the rumors surrounding the incident.

On whether he didn't go to rehearsals for the event, Steve said: "I've went to more rehearsals than I've ever gone to for anything." He added that he did the whole table read, where they go through the whole script, but without the winner's name.

Steve also said that he went to the walkthrough on Friday, and to the entire dress rehearsal on Saturday.

Rumors have also been flying that the incident was staged. On that, Steve said: "Why the hell would I do that? What I do not participate in, is a bunch of BS (b-llsh-t). You wanna do a publicity stunt, you do it yourself. I'm already famous. Do you really think I wanted to be famous like this? In my wildest dreams, you could not have told me this, in a million years. But I had to walk back out there and do what I thought was the right thing to do for Miss Philippines."

Early in the interview, Steve recounted what happened at the coronation night. After he read what was on the teleprompter, and then the winner's name on the card, he walked to the side, thinking everything was fine.

"And then, after that, all hell broke loose. And all I heard people saying backstage was, 'That's the wrong name,'" said Steve.

"Now, I got a guy in my ear going, 'We gotta do something! We gotta do something!' That's all I'm hearing, it's utter confusion, everybody backstage. So I took it upon myself and I walked out there to do something," Steve said about his decision to rectify his mistake on live TV.

"Did I make a mistake? Yes, I did. Wholeheartedly. And at this point in the game, I'm not in the finger-pointing business and rolling other people under the bus. So I did what I was trained to do by my father... you make a mistake, own up to it," said Harvey.

During the coronation night on December 20, Steve accidentally announced that Ariadna was Miss Universe instead of Pia. He went back onstage after to apologize for his mistake.

Pia and Ariadna have since spoken about the issue. Pia said that she was happy to have won the title, as it took her 3 tries at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant before she could compete in Miss Universe and win. (WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach's first interview as Miss Universe 2015)

Meanwhile, Ariadna said in an interview that the experience was humiliating for her and her countrymen. (READ: Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez speaks up on announcement mix-up)

What do you think of Steve Harvey's statement? Let us know in the comments! – Rappler.com

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