Steve Harvey sobbed openly when he finally got his face-to-face with Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez ... and then she gave him some really good news.
Ariadna and Steve sat down on his talk show -- their first meeting since the infamous Miss Universe screw up -- and he immediately got emotional. Check out the clip ... they talked forgiveness and possible lawsuits. Yes, Ariadna says she came close to taking his mansion.
TMZ broke the story ... Harvey scored the interview with Miss Colombia when an NBC producer brokered a blanket deal for "Today," Telemundo, and Steve's show.
As for his tears ... we're not saying he wasn't genuine, but Steve's an old pro -- he knows tears equal ratings.