Sheryl Lee Ralph has revealed that a famous television judge sexually assaulted her in the workplace, while network executives looked on and encouraged her to keep quiet.
The actress, whose credits include TV shows “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 am in a very public place. I was adequate. I had my suit on. I was running my business for the TV show I was on at the time. He and I were on the same network,” she shared.
“This man walked in, grabbed me around the neck, spun me around and stuck his nasty tongue down my throat,” Ralph said. “And everyone on the network saw it.”
Ralph, 66, did not divulge incriminating details of who allegedly assaulted her, nor did he reveal which network or series she was connected to at the time.
However, he made sure to say that the perpetrator was not his friend, Judge Greg Mathis.
“I love it. He’s a great man,” she said of the star of the courtroom series. “(It wasn’t) him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”
Ready to officially report the incident, Ralph said she contacted then-New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, who served from 1994 to 2002. But network executives encouraged her to keep quiet.
“Someone online tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Please don’t,’” she shared. “They didn’t want bad press around their show and they didn’t care what just happened to me.”
The mother of two and wife of Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Hughes said she decided to open up so other women and actors could defend themselves.
“Speak, tell your truth, do not carry the burden of pain… especially if you feel that it is something that you cannot overcome,” he encouraged.