Sheryl Lee Ralph Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted By ‘Famous TV Judge’

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The actress is sharing details about past experiences with sexual misconduct in her career. She’d previously been shamed into silence.

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Coming Forward

Ralph was a guest on the Way Up With Angela podcast. During the episode, she talked about a “famous TV judge” that assaulted her at a work event. She didn’t reveal any names, but she clarify who it wasn’t – Judge Greg Mathis, a “great man” that she loves dearly.

“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,” Ralph shared. “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 mentioned that Marc Morial, the mayor of New Orleans at the time, defended her against the assault. When she called him after the incident occurred, he offered to pursue legal action against the perpetrator, but her network begged her not to file any official charges or go public about the crime.

“Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder, they said, ‘Please don’t,’” Ralph revealed. “They did not want any bad press around their show and did not care what had just happened to me.”

Someone that saw the assault tried to downplay it by asking her, “It wasn’t so bad after all, was it?”

“That’s the kind of stuff that happens,” Ralph explained. “That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”

Speaking Up


During the podcast, she shared another incident where a man grabbed her inappropriately. This wasn’t the first occurrence, which caused Ralph to unfortunately blame herself. – “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?”

When she decided to confront the man at an event awhile later, the other people at the table shamed her.

“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.”

By sharing her story now, Ralph is more empowered to speak up against situations like this in the future.

Read More: Sheryl Lee Ralph: The Trailblazing Actress and Activist Making a Difference in Hollywood and Beyond (

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