Emmy-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is opening up about a disturbing sexual assault that happened years ago in a professional, public setting.
In a new interview on The Way Up with Angela Yee, the Abbott Elementary star alleged that ‘a famous TV judge’ who was working at the same network at the time forcefully kissed her in front of executives. While she didn’t name his name, Ralph specified that the man was not Judge Greg Mathis.
“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 explained. “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 went on to say that afterward, she got in contact with the New Orleans Mayor at the time, who was ready to help her take action against the alleged perp. But that action was discouraged by the network.
“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. They saw what happened,” Ralph said.
She later added, “That’s the kind of stuff that happens. That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”
Despite the alleged unfortunate ordeal, Ralph still encouraged others who experienced sexual assault to use their voice to speak up and speak out, especially if it’s negatively impacting their lives.
“Speak up, tell your truth, do not carry the burden of the pain … especially if you feel like it’s something you can’t work through,” she said.
Ralph’s full interview is available to watch now on The Way Up’s official YouTube channel.