Sheryl Lee Ralph Alleges ‘Famous TV Judge’ Sexually Assaulted Her
Sheryl Lee Ralph has alleged she was sexually assaulted by a ‘famous TV judge’ at a trade event years ago, saying network executives witnessed the attack but asked her to keep quiet to avoid “bad press”.
“I am in a very public place. I was adapted. I had my suit. I was minding my own business for the TV show I was on at the time. He and I were on the same network,” she said, recalling the alleged incident.
“This man came in, grabbed me by the back of the neck, turned me around and stuck his tongue down my throat,” Ralph said. “And everyone on the network saw it.”
The ‘Abbott Elementary’ actor and Emmy-winning ‘Dreamgirls’ star didn’t name the man who allegedly assaulted her, nor did she reveal which network or show she was working with at the time. ‘era. But she was careful to note that it was not Judge Greg Mathis. “I love him. He’s a great man,” she said of the ‘Judge Mathis’ star. “Not him at all. That’s a great man. It was another.
Ralph made the allegations this week on the “Way Up With Angela Yee” podcast. Visibly upset as she shared her story, she said she decided to open up about it in hopes of encouraging other women and actors to speak up.
“Speak up, speak your truth, don’t carry the burden of pain…especially if it feels like it’s something you can’t get over,” she said.
Ralph said she was willing to report the incident, even calling out former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, who was in office from 1994 to 2002. (During that time, Ralph starred on the UPN sitcom “Moesha.”) She said the mayor immediately jumped to her defense, asking, “Do you want me to send the police over there right now?” Because we’re going to fix it, you know what!” But the network, she claims, asked her to remain silent.
“Someone on the network tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Please don’t,'” Ralph explained. “They didn’t want any bad press around their show and didn’t care what just happened to me.”
“They saw what happened,” she continued. Recalling what she said was said by network executives and bystanders, she added, “It’s not that bad, is it? Please don’t say anything. We don’t need the bad press. It’s a whole new show. Yours is a new show… It wasn’t so bad after all, was it?
“That’s the kind of stuff that happens,” Ralph said. “That’s what makes it difficult for women to talk about these things.”
Variety has reached out to a rep for Ralph for further comment.