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Sheryl Lee Ralph Reveals She Had A One-Sided Beef With Diana Ross

Sheryl Lee Ralph Reveals She Had A One-Sided Beef With Diana Ross

Krista B.
01/25/2024 12:41 PM EST

Did you know that Sheryl Lee Ralph once had beef with Diana Ross? 

In speaking with Oprah Winfrey on her “Oprah Daily’s “The Life You Want Class: A Conversation with Sheryl Lee Ralph,” the actress revealed that her feud with Ms. Ross was one-sided due to her portrayal of Deena Jones in the Broadway Musical “Dreamgirls.” Ross assumed that the play was about her and the time she spent with The Supremes.

In 2006, Ross felt the same way with the remake of the movie, starring Beyoncé Knowles- Carter, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy. 

“There was one thing that I was told in the development of ‘Dreamgirls:’ I could love Diana Ross as much as I want, but if I played Diana Ross we would get sued,” she told Winfrey, later adding: “It wasn’t [Ross’ story]. But the more you told that it wasn’t, the more everybody believed that it was.”

The Emmy-Award-winning actress went on to say that she had ran into Diana Ross in New York City and was excited to speak to her about the musical but said that the “Baby Love” singer was not open to having a conversation. 

“At that moment, she walked into the Russian Tea Room and I was like, ‘There she was,’” Ralph said. “I just got up and walked over to her. And she turned around in the way that you could smell her perfume. It was beautiful. And the smile left her face looking at me. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. She doesn’t like me because of the show.’ She said, ‘I know who you are.’ And I was just like, okay. And she turned around and she was gone.”

The feud between both women was later ended by one of Ross’ sons who urged her to speak with Ralph to talk about their issues. “She didn’t want to see me but then she saw me and she came over and we talked and it was wonderful,” Ralph said. “It was lipstick and lashes under the bridge. It was gone. She said, ‘Girl, that was such a long time ago. I understand now.’ I was like, ‘Aw, here’s the moment.’ It was great.”