'Abbott Elementary's Sheryl Lee Ralph Claims a 'Famous TV Judge' Sexually Assaulted Her
Sheryl Lee Ralph is claiming that she was sexually assaulted by a "famous TV judge."
The Abbott Elementary actress recalled the alleged incident during an appearance on the Way Up With Angela Yee podcast on Monday.
"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 began.
"This man walked in, grabbed me by the back of my neck, turned me around and rammed his nasty a** tongue down my throat," she claimed. "And everybody at the network saw it."
Ralph was starring on Moesha at the time, and while she didn't name names, she was sure to note that the man in question was not Judge Greg Mathis.
"I love him. He's a great man," she said about Mathis. "Not him at all. He's a great man. This was another one."
Ralph also claimed that she tried to report the incident and allegedly called the then-mayor of New Orleans, Marc Morial, whom she said allegedly offered: "You want me to send the police there right now? 'Cause we will fix his you know what right now!'"
Despite Morial's alleged willingness to get involved, Ralph said network executives didn't want the alleged incident to become public.
"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," she claimed while talking with Yee.
ET has reached out to Ralph's reps for comment.
For Ralph, it's not the only "Me Too" moment the 66-year-old actress claims she's experienced over the course of her career. Recalling another alleged sexual assault mentioned in her new book, Diva 2.0, Ralph said she began questioning what she did to deserve that kind of treatment.
"It's horrible. It's like, I can think about these things, and I'll tell you, there was one incident, it was like the third time something like this had happened to me, and I thought to myself, 'What did I do to deserve that?' My skirt is at my knees. I have on a sweater blouse," Ralph claimed.
"What made this man think that he could just come over and put his hands on my body, in front of [everyone]? He didn't know me," she further alleged.
While Ralph said she didn't do anything at the time, when she encountered the man years later, she confronted him about the alleged incident. The shocking part of the confrontation, she claimed, was that everyone at the table was appalled, and not by the incident, but because she stood up for herself.
"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," Ralph said.
And it's those kinds of negative responses that the Emmy winner says makes it difficult for women to not only come forward about incidents of sexual assault in real time, but to pursue any course of action at all.
As for her advice for women in Hollywood who may have had such encounters, Ralph encouraged them to speak up.
"It's hard. I would say, nowadays, speak up," Ralph urged. "Tell your truth. Do not carry the burden of that pain. Especially if it's something you feel that you cannot work through."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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