Sheryl Lee Ralph is opening up about a “nasty” assault — and the upsetting response by the TV industry.
The Abbott Elementary actress appeared on the Way Up with Angela Yee podcast Monday, where she discussed her new book, Diva 2.0, the #MeToo movement, and how it’s difficult for women to speak up after being victimized. And sadly she knows firsthand…
Related: Brooke Shields Shares Details Of Being Sexually Assaulted Early In Her Career
The Emmy winner recalled a horrifying situation “in a very public place” years ago, where a well-known television personality sexually assaulted her. She remembered:
“I’m at a very public place. I was suited. I had my suit on and I was handling my business for the television show I was on at that time. He and I 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.”
Absolutely vile! The fact that anyone would EVER think that’s okay is so mind blowing. She continued:
“And everybody at the network saw it, and the Mayor of New Orleans at the time was Marc Morial. I called Marc Morial, and he said, ‘You want me to send the police there right now? Because we will fix his you know what right now.’”
But nothing happened. She did not identify the celeb, only saying that it was “a famous TV judge.” Obviously that narrows it down. The Moesha star has only been on so many networks — and we know it sure as hell wasn’t Judge Judy. But in the network’s view, this star was apparently more important than she was.
Despite the blatant assault that had just unfolded before everyone’s eyes, the assailant was still the one who was protected over the victim:
“Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder, they said, ‘Please don’t.’ Do you know that 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 afterall, was it?’ That’s the kind of stuff that happens. That’s what happens. That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”
While the Dreamgirls actress didn’t name any names as far as who the TV judge was or what specific network, she did take a moment to clarify that it was NOT her beloved Greg Mathis, saying:
“I love him. He’s a great man.”
Angela then chimed in, applauding Sheryl for speaking up, noting that in some situations, women don’t speak up for YEARS because of an all too common lack of support — like the Moesha alum experienced. Sheryl added:
“And even if they see it. They saw what happened. ‘It’s not that bad, is it? Please, don’t say anything. We don’t need the bad press, it’s a brand new show. Yours is a new show.’ I was like, ‘Lord, have mercy.’”
We’re glad Sheryl found the courage to share her story, and we hope it serves as a reminder that women face situations like this EVERY DAY, and we as a culture need to be here to listen and support. Watch her full interview (below):
What are your thoughts on her story, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments down below.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out https://www.rainn.org/resources.
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