While there have been many reasons for Sheryl Lee Ralph to celebrate lately (she snagged an Emmy last year), the actress recently detailed a terrifying incident from her past in which she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a “famous TV judge” while at a business event. Lee says that was told not to speak out at the time in order to avoid “bad press.”
The Abbott Elementary actress recounted the events on the podcast Way Up With Angela Lee. “I’m at a very public place. 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,” Ralph said according to Variety. While she didn’t name which network she was working for, Ralph has been on a number of syndicated sitcoms over the years at various networks, though Variety reported that this could have been during her stint on Moesha, due to the timeline.
Ralph continued, “This man walked in, grabbed me by the back of my neck, turned me around, and rammed his nasty ass tongue down my throat,” Ralph said. “And everybody at the network saw it.” Ralph was so disturbed she said she was ready to report the incident but was discouraged by the network. “Somebody on the network tapped me on the shoulder saying, ‘Please don’t’ They did not want any bad press around their show, and did not care what had just happened to me.”
While Ralph didn’t reveal who she was referring to, she did clarify that it was not Judge Greg Mathis. “Not him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”
Despite being in the industry for so long, Ralph said that things things still happen in Hollywood. “That’s the kind of stuff that happens. That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”
Ralph has had quite the year after starring on a hit TV show and even performing at the Super Bowl. Hopefully, she continues her world takeover in 2023.