How Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Assault Reveals a Cold Truth About Entertainment
The entertainment industry is one that has been riddled with cases of sexual assault and harassment for decades. Victims of sexual assault within the industry are often silenced or discouraged from speaking out in an effort to preserve the reputation of those involved or the project they’re working on. Recently, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph opened up about her own personal experience.
A Variety article reports that Sheryl Lee Ralph admitted to being sexually assaulted at a work event. She claims that a “famous TV judge” grabbed her by the back of her neck in order to turn her around then “jammed” his tongue down her throat. Even worse, she discloses that multiple network executives witnessed this assault happen and then asked her to keep quiet about it. The executives asked her to not say anything since she was on a brand-new show and they did not want bad press from this situation to hurt the ratings. Unfortunately, she obliged and held onto the secret for who knows how long.
While Sheryl Lee Ralph never mentions exactly when this incident occurred, it seems like not much has changed in the entertainment industry over the years. Despite the increased awareness of these issues, the reactions victims get are filled with scrutiny.
Why the entertainment industry silences its victims
When it comes to speaking out against those that have committed sexual assault crimes, the entertainment industry tries its best to keep a tight lip. Dealing with an allegation as serious as this can destroy the industry as we know it—and many are trying to preserve that. However, there are multiple reasons why they want to stop people from bringing a case like this to light.
Protecting their image
One of the main reasons that the entertainment industry tries to silence victims of sexual assault is to protect images and reputations. Celebrities and high-profile individuals within the industry are often viewed as role models, and any negative publicity can damage their careers and impact their public image. When a victim of sexual assault comes forward and accuses someone within the industry of misconduct, it can lead to a public relations nightmare for the accused individual, as well as their employer and associates.
Sometimes, the victim may not be believed and is seen as a liar, which can ruin their own career simultaneously. If a victim confides in someone like their agent, the agent may advise them to not say anything for the sake of their career. As a result, there is often pressure placed on victims to keep quiet and not speak out against their abuser.
Don’t want to rock the boat
Another reason why the entertainment industry tries to silence victims of sexual assault is to preserve the status quo. The industry is notoriously competitive, with individuals competing for coveted roles and opportunities. Those who speak out against sexual assault or harassment risk being labeled as difficult or troublemakers, potentially damaging their career prospects. Additionally, those in positions of power within the industry often have a vested interest in maintaining the current power structures, which can involve protecting those who engage in abusive behavior.
Legal and financial repercussions
The fear of legal and financial costs also plays a role in silencing victims. Sexual assault is a criminal offense, and individuals who are found guilty can face serious legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. Additionally, victims may seek financial compensation through civil lawsuits. When a victim comes forward and accuses someone of sexual assault, it can lead to a lengthy and costly legal battle that can damage the reputation and finances of everyone involved—including the victim. As a result, there is often pressure placed on victims to keep quiet and not pursue legal action against their abuser.
There’s only one Los Angeles law firm to call after a sexual assault
Sexual assault victims should never just move on and try to forget what they went through. Offenders need to be held accountable for their actions, and justice needs to be served. Celebrities like Sheryl Lee Ralph speak up so that others can feel more comfortable and capable of doing so whether it involves a celebrity or not. If you were the victim of sexual assault in Los Angeles, be sure to call the lawyers at Taylor & Ring. Not only are our attorneys incredibly compassionate and make you feel as comfortable as possible throughout the emotional process, we’ve got a solid track record—and we’ll help you fight for justice. While no amount of money can reverse the trauma victims have gone through, it may help to know that we’ve won countless cases and have secured millions of dollars in sexual assault settlements.
No case is too small or too big for the Taylor & Ring attorneys to fight. In fact, we even represented Jane Doe 1, later revealed as Evgeniya Chernyshova: one of Harvey Weinstein’s victims. Taking on a battle against some of Hollywood’s most elite people is no easy feat. While over 100 women accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and harassment, Evgeniya’s case was only one of four in California that led to a conviction. Thanks to Evgeniya for speaking up and our reputable litigation skills, we were able to help put another sexual predator behind bars.
Weinstein’s case ignited the #MeToo movement which gave thousands of women across the world the encouragement to speak up about their own sexual assault experiences. Despite the rise in awareness, the entertainment industry will still do their best to keep any type of bad press hush-hush. However, it is important to remember that you still have a voice. If you were sexually assaulted in Southern California, you should contact Taylor & Ring. We’ll bring our comprehensive and aggressive representation into the courtroom to help you get the justice and closure you need. To speak with an experienced Los Angeles injury lawyer, fill out our contact form.
David Ring is a nationally renowned plaintiff’s personal injury trial attorney and has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of seriously-injured individuals or families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. For more than 20 years, he has represented victims of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, assault, molestation and sexual misconduct in cases against a variety of employers and entities, including schools, churches and youth organizations.
He prides himself on providing aggressive, yet compassionate representation for children who have been sexually abused and women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. Read more about David M. Ring.