Last week, Sheryl Lee Ralph opened up about experiencing sexual assault from a “famous TV judge on Way Up with Angela Yee. Although she didn’t name her abuser, the actress clarified that it was not Judge Greg Mathis. Now, Judge Joe Brown has broken his silence as it is rumored that he is the accused.
The personality took to Twitter to clear the air. “There’re false rumors being spread that I mistreated a certain lady ≈ 25 yrs ago. I categorically deny both the accusations & acquaintance with the lady,” he tweeted. “Those rumors started with certain identified parties & spread. They ought ‘Cease & Desist’ or contemplate a Defamation Action.”
Brown also addressed the accusation in a separate interview. “It’s a warning to anybody listening. I might bring in my legal team and proceed for defamation of character,” he said. “When they put my face next to hers […] that becomes innuendo. That’s very destructive to my reputation. Not only do I have a long track record ensuring that women get justice when they been done wrong, my motto for the last half century is ‘protecting womanhood and promoting manhood and [sic] those who don’t seem to like it.”
Brown, however, did make it clear that Ralph has not explicitly named him as her abuser. “So far, she hasn’t said anything that implicates me [but] the fact of the matter is I don’t know this woman, never met this woman, certainly haven’t had any kind of contact with her,” he continued.
Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Story
When Ralph appeared on the show, she recalled a difficult time in her career. She shared her experience with an unwanted advance that studio executives witnessed.
“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,” she recalled. “And everybody at the network saw it.”
She added that she reached out to the then-mayor of New Orleans, Marc Morial. The mayor suggested calling the police, but a network executive told her not to. “Somebody at the network tapped me on the shoulder; they said, ‘Please don’t,’” she said. “Do you know that 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. That’s what happens; that’s what makes it hard for women to speak up about these things.”