Sheryl Lee Ralph, star of the show Abbott Elementary, has spoken out about a sexual assault she suffered at the hands of a “famous TV judge” many years ago and how network executives covered it up.
This week, Ralph, 66, discussed the alleged incident during an interview on the podcast Way Up with Angela Yee.
She recalled, “I am in a very public area.” “I was fitting. My suit was on. At the time, I was conducting business for the television show I appeared on. We were connected to the same network.”
She continued, “This man walked in, grabbed me by the back of my neck, turned me around, and shoved his foul-mouthed tongue down my throat.” “Everyone at the network witnessed it.”
The Emmy-winning actress disclosed that she had discussed the incident with Marc Morial, the former mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002. During that time period, Ralph was a cast member on the now-defunct UPN network’s hit show Moesha. Ralph reported that Morial asked her if he should “send the police down there.” “We will remedy the situation,” she recalled him saying. The network, however, wanted Ralph to remain silent.
Ralph stated, “Someone on the network tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Please don’t,’” They did not want any negative publicity surrounding their show and did not care about what had just occurred to me.
Though Ralph didn’t reveal the identity of her alleged attacker, he did say that it wasn’t Greg Mathis, whose tv show Judge Mathis debuted in 1999.
She said about the television star, “I love him,” “He is not a great man at all. He is a great person. This was yet another.”
The actress from Dreamgirls went on to say that experiences like hers “make it difficult for women to speak about these things,” but she encouraged women to continue speaking out against sexual assault.
“Speak up,” Ralph said. “Speak the truth. Do not carry the weight of your suffering especially if you feel helpless in the face of it.”