Sheryl Lee Ralph has revealed that a famous TV judge sexually assaulted her in the workplace, while network executives looked on and encouraged her to keep quiet.
The actress, whose credits include TV series such as Abbott Elementary and Moesha, as well as the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, detailed the incident during a recent episode of the Way Up with Angela Yee podcast.
“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,” she shared.
“This man walked in, grabbed me by the back of my neck, turned me around and rammed his nasty tongue down my throat,” Ralph said. “And everybody at the network saw it.”
Ralph, 66, did not divulge incriminating details of who allegedly assaulted her, nor did she reveal which network or series she was attached to at the time.
However, she did make sure to say that the perpetrator was not her friend Judge Greg Mathis.
“I love him. He’s a great man,” she said of the courtroom series star. “(It was) not him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”
Ready to officially report the incident, Ralph said she reached out to then-Mayor of New Orleans Marc Morial, who served from 1994 to 2002. But network execs encouraged her to keep quiet.
“Somebody on the network tapped me on the shoulder saying, ‘Please don’t,’” she shared. “They did not want any bad press around their show, and did not care what had just happened to me.”
The mother of two and wife of Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Hughes said she decided to open up so that other women and actors could stand up for themselves.
“Speak up, tell your truth, do not carry the burden of the pain ... especially if you feel like it’s something you can’t work through,” she encouraged. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service