Sheryl Lee Ralph says she was once sexually assaulted by a ‘famous TV judge’.
The Abbott Elementary star opened up about the alleged incident on Monday during an appearance on radio personality Angela Yee’s “The Way Up With Angela Yee” podcast.
“I’m at a very public place,” she recalled. “I was suited. I had my suit on. 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,” she continued. “And everybody at the network saw it.”
The 66-year-old says she was ready to report the incident, even calling the former mayor of New Orleans, Marc Morial, who was in office from 1994 to 2002. During that timeframe, Ralph starred on the UPN sitcom “Moesha.”
Ralph said the mayor immediately came to her defense, asking, “You want me to send the police there right now? ‘Cause we will fix this, you know what!” But the network, Ralph claims, asked her to stay silent.
“Somebody on the network tapped me on the shoulder saying, ‘Please don’t,’” Ralph said. “They did not want any bad press around their show and did not care what had just happened to me.”
Ralph didn’t name her alleged assailant, but clarified that it was not Greg Mathis, whose syndicated show Judge Mathis began in 1999.
“I love him,” she said about the television star. “He’s a great man—not him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”
The Dreamgirls actress went on to say that experiences like hers “make it hard for women to speak about these things,” but encouraged women to keep speaking out about sexual assault.
“Speak up,” Ralph said. “Tell your truth. Do not carry the burden of the pain… especially if you feel like it’s something you can’t work through.”
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