Sheryl Lee Ralph is opening up about an incident where she said a well-known TV figure sexually assaulted her.
The Emmy-winning actress recalled the alleged incident earlier this week as a guest on Angela Yee’s Way Up with Angela Yee radio show.
“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 said.
She continued, “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 said. “And everybody at the network saw it.”
“I love him. He’s a great man,” she said about Mathis. “Not him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”
The Abbott Elementary star said she had spoken to then-mayor of New Orleans Marc Morial about the incident and he immediately came to her defense saying, “You want me to send the police there right now? ‘Cause we will fix this, you know what!”
However, she said the network asked her to remain silent. At the time, Ralph starred on the UPN sitcom “Moesha.”
“Somebody on the network tapped me on the shoulder saying, ‘Please don’t,'” she said. “They did not want any bad press around their show, and did not care what had just happened to me.”
“That’s the kind of stuff that happens,” Ralph said. “That’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”
Ralph continued to reflect on the incident sharing that she’s experienced other “Me Too” moments throughout her career–speaking about an incident with a promoter.
She encourages women to speak their truth.
“Speak up, tell your truth, do not carry the burden of the pain,” she said, adding, “especially if you feel like it’s something you can’t work through.”