Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph has come out for the first time with explosive allegations about “horrible” sexual misconduct experiences she’s faced throughout her illustrious Hollywood career.
In a recent Way Up With Angela Yee interview, the Abbott Elementary star said that a “famous TV judge” once assaulted her while at an event. While she would not name who the judge was, she went on the record to say that it was not Judge Mathis, who she considers to be “a great man.”
“I’m at a very public place. I was suited. I was handling my business for the television show I was on at that time,” the 66-year-old said Monday. “We were on the same network. This man walked in, grabbed me by the back of my neck, turned me around and rammed his nasty ass tongue down my throat. And everybody at the network saw it.”
She said several people came in to defend her, one of them being the former mayor of New Orleans, Marc Morial, who was mayor of the city at the time the incident took place.
“Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder, they said, ‘Please don’t,’” Ralph said. “They did not want any bad press around their show and did not care what had just happened to me.”
She further recalled witnesses suggesting that “it wasn’t so bad after all,” adding that “that’s the kind of stuff that happens. That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”
Before revealing the allegations of sexual misconduct, she recounted another story in which an unidentified man she didn’t know placed his hand on her in a suggestive way. She said it was about the third time someone had assaulted her and she struggled to understand why she was being treated so poorly.
“What did I do to deserve that?” What made this man think that he could just come over and put his hands on my body?”
Years after the incident, she said she ran into the alleged suspect at a dinner where they sat directly across from one another. She said she confronted him about it but what happened next was something she would have never expected.
“Do you want to know what was the shocking part? Everybody around the table was appalled that I would stand up for myself. They told me that I should be ashamed of myself, and why would I even bring that up, and at the dinner table.”
During her now infamous 2022 Emmy acceptance speech, the Connecticut native said: “This is what striving looks like. And don’t you ever, ever give up on you.”