Steve Harvey speaks with the media at Trump Tower on Jan. 13, 2017 in New York.
Bryan R. Smith—AFP/Getty Images
May 11, 2017 11:35 PM EDT

Steve Harvey has clarified the comments he made in a leaked email to Steve Harvey Show staff asking them to stop “ambushing” him on the set.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Harvey explained that he sent the email around because he felt like people were taking advantage of his open door policy by constantly approaching the host in his dressing room, in the hallways, or while he was in make-up. Harvey’s intention, he told the outlet, was to ask his staff to simply honor his privacy so that he could move about the set freely.

“I just didn’t want to be in this prison anymore where I had to be in this little room, scared to go out and take a breath of fresh air without somebody approaching me, so I wrote the letter,” Harvey told ET.

“I could not find a way to walk from the stage to my dressing room, to sit in my makeup chair, to walk from my dressing room to the stage or to just sit and have lunch without somebody just walking in,” he said. “I’ve always had a policy where, you know, you can come and talk to me — so many people are great around here, but some of them just started taking advantage of it.”

Although he said he didn’t apologize for sending the email, he admits that he “probably should’ve handled it a little bit differently.”

On Thursday, Chicago media columnist Robert Feder posted the entire aforementioned email to his blog.

“I want all the ambushing to stop now. That includes the TV staff,” wrote Harvey in the email, asking his staff follow the rules for season 5 of his talk show. “Do not approach me while I’m in the makeup chair unless I ask to speak with you directly. Either knock or use the doorbell. I am seeking more free time for me throughout the day. Do not wait in any hallway to speak to me. I hate being ambushed. Please make an appointment. I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me.”

He ended the email with, “If you’re reading this, yes, I mean you. Everyone, do not take offense to the new way of doing business. It is for the good of my personal life and enjoyment.”

The Steve Harvey Show is ending production in Chicago and is moving to Los Angeles where it will be renamed Steve this fall.

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