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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a court battle going on in North Texas over old comedy tapes. Comedian Steve Harvey is in a Dallas federal courtroom where today he took the stand and claimed he is being extorted.

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Harvey is involved in the fight over unreleased video recorded more than 20 years ago at a comedy club he once owned in Dallas. The argument is over who owns and can release the footage.

Videographer Joseph Cooper filed the suit claiming he, not Harvey, owns the tapes and should be able to profit from them. Cooper also claims Harvey signed a contract to that effect back in 1993, but the judge has called it “ambiguous”.

Harvey says Cooper has been trying to sell the tapes since the 1990s by using the ‘selling point’ that they contain footage of the comedian on stage saying embarrassing and racist jokes.

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On the stand today Harvey said, “I just have this cloud over my career that he’s created over me — he’s just relentless.” He want on to say, “I’ve got more to lose as I get bigger,” and that “in this business, image is everything.”

Harvey says Cooper has been misappropriating his name and likeness — which are trademarked.

Cooper also had a chance to testify and while on the stand actually apologized to Harvey for some of the phone calls he’d made in the past, but made it clear he still wants to be paid.

Cooper’s lawsuit is for breach of contact. He is seeking some $10 million in damages.

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