ABC’s Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph claims she was sexually assaulted by a “famous TV judge” years ago, saying she was pressured by network executives to remain quiet in order to avoid “bad press.”
Sheryl Lee Ralph didn’t name the celebrity judge or specify the network during an appearance this week on the podcast “Way Up with Angela Yee.”
“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 recalled.
“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 continued. “And everybody at the network saw it.”
The actress said she spoke about the incident to then-New Orleans mayor Marc Morial (D), who was in office from 1994 to 2002. Around the same time, Ralph was starring in the UPN series Moesha.
The actress said the network pressured her to stay silent.
“Somebody on the network tapped me on the shoulder saying, ‘Please don’t,’” Ralph said. “Did you know they did not want any bad press around their show and did not care what had just happened to me. ‘It wasn’t so bad after all, was it?’”
While she didn’t name her alleged attacker, Ralph said it was not Judge Greg Mathis of the syndicated show Judge Mathis. “I love him,” she said Mathis. “He’s a great man — not him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”
Sheryl Lee Ralph won her first Emmy Award last year for her supporting role in Abbott Elementary.
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