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Sheryl Lee Ralph Alleges a ‘Famous TV Judge’ Once Sexually Assaulted Her

Photo: Robin L Marshall/Getty Images for ESSENCE

Actress, singer, and motivational speaker Sheryl Lee Ralph has alleged that she was once sexually assaulted by a “famous TV judge” in front of network executives. While discussing her new book Diva 2.0 on the podcast Way Up with Angela Yee, Ralph was asked about her experiences related to the #MeToo movement. The Abbott Elementary star recalled being at a “very public place” years ago and encountering a judge — not Judge Mathis, she noted — who was on the same network as a TV show she was in at the time. “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 alleged. “And everybody at the network saw it.” She added that she responded by calling then-mayor of New Orleans Marc Morial (which places the incident between 1994 and 2002, when she starred on UPN’s Moesha), who offered to immediately send the police. “Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder, they said, ‘Please don’t,’” Ralph said. “Do you know that they did not want any bad press around their show, and did not care what had just happened to me?’” She looked visibly outraged as she described this dismissive response. “That’s the kind of stuff that happens,” Ralph concluded. “That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”

Sheryl Lee Ralph Alleges a ‘TV Judge’ Sexually Assaulted Her