Tony winning Broadway star Alice Ripley, 57, DENIES ‘grooming’ underage girls and says they ‘misinterpreted’ her friendship
- Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Alice Ripley has apologized to her young fans for ‘misinterpretations’ of the interactions they had with her
- She vehemently denied reports she’d groomed four young women and says no abuse took place, but did say sorry for ‘ghosting’ her fans after
- Four women came forward with accusations against Ripley, 57, this week
- It started with a viral TikTok video in which a woman named Brie Lynn, now 25, claimed Ripley ‘groomed’ her as a child
- At least three other women have since said they too had inappropriate relationships with the stage star
- Accusers describe Ripley’s fan base as a ‘cult’ of underage queer girls, many of whom suffer from mental health issues
- Ripley earned a Tony Award for her betrayal of bipolar character Diana Goodman in the show Next to Normal in 2009
- She had also denied the allegations against her in an earlier statement saying: ‘There’s absolutely no validity to any of it’
Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Alice Ripley has denied grooming young fans with mental health issues – but says she’s sorry for befriending the women then ghosting them.
Four women have accused Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Alice Ripley of ‘manipulating’ them and running a cult-like base of young fans. The women also made accusations of unsolicited advances.
Ripley vehemently denies ‘vile’ accusations of grooming, saying the term has made her feel like a sex attacker, and that she inflicted no such abuse on her fans.
Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Alice Ripley has apologized to her young fans for ‘misinterpretations’ of the interactions they had with her. Ripley, whose performance in the Broadway play Next to Normal earned her a Tony Award, is accused of developing odd relationships with fans as young as 12
‘It is a misinterpretation of my actions to say I manipulated anyone, and more shockingly, that there was abuse,’ she said in a statement to Page Six.
‘Yet here we are on this slippery slope, because terms like ‘grooming’ are being thrown around … To be accused of this most vile thing, of which I am innocent, is crushing,’
Ripley earned a Tony Award for her betrayal of bipolar character Diana Goodman in Next to Normal in 2009.
She explains how that the performances ‘were truly safe spaces for people who had been touched by mental illness.’
Teen girls would flock to the show time and again many of whom ‘imprinted their own mothers onto my character, [or] saw themselves in the daughter.’
Twitter users @ashtraysandart (left) and Brie Lynn (right) are among the young women who say Ripley behaved inappropriately, and amassed a group of cult-like groupies
Ripley said that her interactions with fans would consist of ‘a quick hello at the stage door’ or ‘[seeing] people in my dressing room for a couple minutes before or after the show.’
She said that ‘on rare occasions’ she would ‘have a quick meal’ with one.
‘It’s now clear that a few of these fans had their feelings badly hurt because they received attention and then they felt ‘ghosted,’ by her lack of regard for them subsequently, she added, ‘and I truly apologize for that.’
The four Ripley’s accusers claim she took advantage of them with some of girls saying they had looked towards her as a mother figure. Others claim they fell in love with the actress.
‘Inevitably, they had their own fan dramas and jealousies, and I stayed out of that as much as I could,’ Ripley writes.
‘I never meant to give anything but positive reinforcement, and I’m sorry anyone felt slighted.’ Ripley’s statement.
She says that the the term ‘grooming’, which ‘refers to sexual abuse of a minor, which is the most despicable act imaginable. It implies that I wanted something or asked for something, and that is not true.’
One New York City actress, who was only identified by the name Liz, told the Daily Beast said ‘I felt like I was in a cult, the cult of Alice Ripley. She finds people who are desperate for love, and she figures out how to fill that hole and then manipulates them with it.’
‘What Alice does, whether she is consciously doing it or subconsciously doing it, is she knows how to sense where you are vulnerable and where you are desperate for love and attention, and she just goes for it,’ Liz said.
‘For me, I was very much looking for an older sister, even like a mother-type figure. So that’s kind of what she was for me.’
Another alleged victim, Meredith, told the outlet: ‘I’ve spent the last 10 years thinking I’m the only one who’s been in therapy because of Alice Ripley. Then in the last 48 hours, I realize there are also other individuals who are my demographic who have also felt literally traumatized by this relationship.’
Brie Lynn spoke out about her relationship with Ripley on Tik Tok, but since expanded the ther conversation to platforms such as Twitter
Brie Lynn says families need to have more meaningful discussions about inappropriate behavior from women
Brie Lynn, now 25, accused Ripley of carrying on sexual conversations with her as a minor, while another accuser called Leo, who was 16 at the time, said their relationship was ‘intimate.’
Lynn was first to speak out publicly against Ripley on TikTok before three others added their own stories claiming they were manipulated as teenage girls with Ripley’s fan base primarily made up from queer girls.
Accusers began leveling claims against the stage star earlier this week, when TikTok user @lovelyobrie claimed she was groomed by the actress as a child.
Lynn posted a series of videos describing how she ‘idolized’ the 57-year-old Broadway thespian and friended her on Facebook but didn’t meet her until she turned 13.
‘Our first conversation was about a photo of you in lingerie,’ Brie Lynn, a self-described lesbian, said on the social media platform. Between 2009-2011, Alice was starring as Diana in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Next To Normal, which also toured the country.
The actress has denied initial claims posted on Tik Tok, as more accusers come forward with their own tales
Brie claimed that Ripley ‘always requested that I come backstage by myself’ and ‘on the occasions that my mother was with me’ the acting instructor would act ‘incredibly stand-offish.’
The teen flew to cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City to meet with the thespian, often accompanied by a traveling ‘adult fan’ trusted by her family.
When the adult fan turned violent against then 14-year-old Brie, she locked herself in a bathroom and her parents flew to Chicago to fetch her.
‘I reached out to Alice who was very nonchalant about the situation and just didn’t want to communicate with me at all,’ Brie recalled.
‘Alice was absolutely no help to me at all despite her knowing me the best and being the only person in the state that knew me very very well. And she just didn’t care…She even gaslit me and shamed me for getting into fan drama.’
Brie Lynn, now 25, says her first correspondence with Ripley was when she was just 12, although she didn’t meet the star she ‘idolized’ until the following year
Brie Lynn shared numerous photos of the two together in a now viral Tik Tok video
Her Instagram account has since gone private as social media users launch attacks against the star.
‘I looked up to her,’ said Twitter user @kkeups. ‘I’m disgusted. This BROKE MY HEART for her victim, and even more when I found out there were more. This needs to be talked about.’
‘How is @RIPLEYTHEBAND not canceled yet???’ pondered Twitter user @Jss9018gish. ‘Is it because shes a woman so she gets away with grooming kids?’
Brie Lynn said she met Ripley in October 2009, after attending a Next to Normal show in New York city, and handing her a bouquet of flowers at current call. She began attending additional shows and would occasionally join the actress for group lunches with fellow fans.
She validated those claims with pictures of the two smiling together in a variety of backdrops. The two would often exchange messages on social media, she said, where they engaged in conversations now deemed by Brie Lynn as inappropriate.
‘There were instances where I would bring up a sexual situation that might have involved a specific sexual act, and she was not shutting down those conversations, she was participating in them,’ Brie Lynn said. ‘She was responding to this back and forth. I’m 25, I can’t imagine getting a message like that from a kid and doing anything other than immediately leaving the conversation.’
Other alleged victims came forward after Brie Lynn shared her claims on Tik Tok.
Leo told The Daily Beast that she connected with Ripley on social media in late 2017, when they began exchanging ‘very intimate’ correspondence.
Ripley became a confidante for Leo, who viewed the actress as a motherly figure. But their relationship soured when Leo became involved in a romantic relationship with another person.
Ripley has gone private with her Instagram account since the allegations began surfacing
‘It definitely has messed with me,’ Leo told The Daily Beast. ‘I used to cry about how she quit talking to me and how I thought I was special to her. I have BPD [borderline personality disorder] so I get attached to people really easily and become dependent on them for happiness. When that happened, it was devastating. I just felt awful about it.’
Brie Lynn’s now-viral social media video hit fellow accuser Liz like a brick, The Daily Beast reported.
‘I was in shock,’ she told the outlet. ‘…My body knew. As soon as I watched the video my body knew. I started sweating, my heart started racing. I was having a trauma response.’
Liz said she met Ripley during springtime 2009; she was an 18-year-old aspiring actress at the time, and already a fan of the Broadway star. As months passed, Liz said she became infatuated with Ripley, and soon realized she wasn’t the only starstruck fan.
Other young fans were also eager to watch her performances, and would hurry to buy cheap tickets for her shows, Liz told the Daily Beast.
‘On the outside, we looked kind of like glorified groupies,’ she said, adding that she recalled Brie Lynn being part of the crowd. ‘But it was teenage girls, and then a few older adults.’
Another accuser, Meredith, said she too met Ripley after attending a Next to Normal performance on Broadway in 2009. She was 16 at the time. Captivated by the thespian’s charms, and spending time with Ripley and other fans, Meredith told The Daily Beast.
When Meredith moved to New York City at age 17 to attend university, she said she reconnected with Ripley, who said began feeling like a mother figure.
Around Thanksgiving in 2010, while Meredith was back at her Los Angeles hometown, she met up with Ripley who was in the area touring with Next to Normal. They shared a meal, and scheduled backstage visits.
The following February, Meredith accepted an invitation to meet up with Meredith in San Francisco, where the play was then stationed.
At one point, Meredith told The Daily Beast, she and Ripley were along in her dressing room, where the young fan was sitting on the floor reading a fan letter addressed to Ripley. Ripley was sitting at her vanity, and when Meredith finished reading the letter, she said the actress ‘spun around in her chair and she bent down on the floor and kissed me on my mouth without any announcement that that was going to happen.
‘It wasn’t like she started making out with me, but it was enough for me to go, this person who I’d really interpreted in a familial context might not be that person.’
Brie Lynn says the first conversation she had with Ripley involved the older woman wearing lingerie
Others say Ripley’s magnetic presence caused fans to fight for her attention
Yet another young woman took to Twitter to document her alleged experiences with Ripley. She said she met the actress during a time when she was recently diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. To top it off, she said she was grieving the loss of two loved ones, and coming to terms with her sexuality.
‘I didn’t know any better at the time, but the way Alice made me feel special and important, she was making SO MANY others feel the same way and, in turn, this started a lot of drama and competition between fans,’ @ashtraysandart said in a letter she posted to Twitter. ‘We all vied for her attention. We ate up every bit of it… That being said, she definitely did not discourage us turning on each other and continuing to adore her.’
Alice is next set to star as Christian widow Trisha Lee – whose 14-year-old daughter announces she is ‘genderqueer’ – in Amy E. Jones’ feature directorial debut The Pink Unicorn.
Ripley’s other Broadway credits include Side Show, Sunset Boulevard, Les Misérables, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Who’s Tommy.
She has also acted in episodes of Netflix’s Girlboss, CBS’ Blue Bloods, USA Network’s Royal Pains, and NBC’s 30 Rock.
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