Update: Judge Joe Brown Speaks Out Amidst Speculation He Sexually Assaulted Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Threatens Defamation Lawsuit
Judge Joe Brown Speaks Out Amidst Speculation He Sexually Assaulted Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Threatens Defamation Lawsuit
Update #1: Judge Joe Brown appears to be speaking out, seemingly addressing Sheryl Lee Ralph’s comments. He tweeted:
“There’re false rumors being spread that I mistreated a certain lady ? 25 yrs ago
I categorically deny both those rumors & any acquaintance with the lady in question”.
He also did a YouTube interview, explaining that he may take legal action.
#JudgeJoeBrown is speaking out amidst some speculation that actress #SherylLeeRalph was allegedly referring to him when discussing a “famous TV judge” that sexually assaulted her years ago. Sheryl did not reveal the persons identify during the interview. (? @wayupwithyee) pic.twitter.com/gdiGGbeSUD
— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) March 25, 2023
Original Story: Sheryl Lee Ralph is getting candid about sexual harassment incidents that she once faced.
During a recent interview on Way Up with Angela Yee, the Abbott Elementary star discussed many unknown aspects of her personal life and work in Hollywood as she promoted her newest book DIVA 2.0: 12 Life Lessons From Me For You. While Sheryl Lee Ralph touched on things she had to overcome in life she detailed two separate incidents where she was touched inappropriately and people wanted her to remain silent. The Emmy Award-winner said,
“There was one incident where it was like the 3rd time something like this had happened to me, and I thought to myself, ‘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, in front of–he didn’t know me.”
Sheryl Lee Ralph then said years later, she was face to face with her abuser once again and she took the opportunity to confront him.
“He sat down at the table across from me. He did not remember any of this, but I had to let him know what he did that night…He was right there, I had to confront him about it. Do you want to know what was the shocking part? Everybody around the table was appalled that I would stand up for myself. They were appalled. They told me I should be ashamed of myself, and why would I even bring that up.”
The actress then recalled another incident that took place where she was sexually assaulted. The man who assaulted her was a famous TV judge but she made it clear that it was “not Judge Mathis.”
“This was a famous TV judge….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. 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 tongue down my throat. And everybody at the network saw it.”
Ralph went on to explain how network execs wanted her to remain silent about the incident.
“The mayor of New Orleans at the time was Marc Morial. I called Marc Morial, he said ‘you want me to send the police there right now? Because we will fix his – you know what – right now.’ Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘please don’t.'”
“Do you know that they did not want any bad press around their show and did not care what just happened to me…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.”
Sheryl Lee Ralph later offered advice for women in Hollywood who may have had similar experiences as she did.
“It’s hard. I would say now-a-days, speak up, tell your truth. Do not carry the burden of that pain. Especially if it’s something you feel you cannot work through.”
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