Sheryl Lee Ralph: A ‘Famous TV Judge’ Sexually Assaulted Me Years Ago
Speaking her truth. Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph revealed that she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a “famous TV judge” in the past.
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“I’m at a very public place. I was suited. I had my suit on,” the actress, 66, shared on the Monday, March 20, episode of the “Way Up With Angela Yee” podcast. “I was handling my business for the television show I was on at that time. He and I were on the same network. This man walked in, grabbed me by the back of my neck, turned me around and rammed his nasty ass tongue down my throat, and everybody at the network saw it.”
Clarifying that the person in question was not Judge Mathis star Greg Mathis, she noted that she contacted former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial after the incident. “He said, ‘You want me to send the police there right now? Because we will fix his you know what right now,’” the Moesha alum claimed. “Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder, they said, ‘Please don’t.’ Do you know that they did not want any bad press around their show and did not care what had just happened to me?”
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During the episode, she detailed another instance where she was allegedly sexually violated prior to her encounter with the unnamed assaulter. “I thought to myself, ‘What did I do to deserve that.’ I’m like, ‘My skirt is at my knees, I have on a sweater blouse. What made this man think that he could just come over and put his hands on my body?’ He didn’t know me,” Ralph told host Angela Yee and cohost Jasmine Brand.
The Ray Donovan alum said she confronted the man about his actions years later, though he didn’t remember the incident at all. “Do you want to know what was the shocking part? Everybody around the table was appalled that I would stand up for myself,” she added. “They were appalled. They told me that I should be ashamed of myself and why would I even bring that up, and at the dinner table.”
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Ralph — who shares son Etienne, 31, and daughter Ivy-Victoria, 28, with ex-husband Eric Maurice — wrapped up the discussion by noting that people ignoring other’s concerns about sexual assault is “what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”
The Dreamgirls star has continued to stand up for herself in recent years. She addressed lip-sync rumors following her performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the Super Bowl in February, telling The Hollywood Reporter after the game, “Does it matter? Does it matter? No. Thank you.”
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She went on to share that the experience was a meaningful one, especially since her hometown team, the Philadelphia Eagles, were competing, “Just amazing, just stunning,” Ralph gushed. “And the way people have been coming back, they said, ‘Girl you made the pre-show look like it was trying to be halftime.’ They said, ‘The costume. The wardrobe. The hair. The shoes. The makeup.’ I was just like, ‘Well, thank you. Fenty of it all, hey.”
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