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Judge Joe Brown

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As the saying goes, hit dogs holler.

And, as such, Judge Joe Brown could be in for some, um, ruff treatment after he spoke out about actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and her recent claims that she was sexually assaulted in the past by a famous television judge.

Ralph revealed no names and ruled out just one famous TV judge as being the culprit, apparently prompting Brown in unsolicited comments to vehemently deny that he is the person the “Abbot Elementary” star was talking about. Brown even threatened to take legal action.

In case you missed it, Ralph told Variety in an interview published last week that she experienced the unfortunate encounter during an industry event but was advised against coming forward with the allegations at the time to avoid bad press.

From Variety:

“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, recalling the alleged incident.

“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.”

Ralph later in the interview made it clear that she was not talking about Judge Greg Mathis, of the “Judge Mathis” court TV series.

“I love him. He’s a great man,” Ralph said about Mathis. “Not him at all. He’s a great man. This was another one.”

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Ralph’s comments sparked widespread speculation about who she was talking about; apparently so much so that Brown felt compelled to speak out.

On Friday evening, Brown tweeted a staunch denial.

“There’re false rumors being spread that I mistreated a certain lady ≈ 25 yrs ago,” Brown tweeted. “I categorically deny both the accusations & acquaintance with the lady.”

Brown then suggested he was the victim of “defamation” and said he may go the legal route to address any potential grievances against media outlets.

“Those rumors started with certain identified parties & spread,” Brown continued. “They ought ‘Cease & Desist’ or contemplate a Defamation Action.”

Without ever saying Ralph’s name, Brown offered “a warning to anybody listening” during an audio interview being promoted by the Jasmine Brand.

“I might bring in my legal team and proceed for defamation of character,” Brown said before adding: “When they p[ut my face next to hers… that becomes innuendo. That’s very destructive to my reputation.”

Brown said he has “a long track record ensuring that women get justice when they been done wrong.”

He also said he knows “where the deep pockets are where I might proceed for defamation of character.”

Notably, Brown later admitted that Ralph “hasn’t said anything that implicates me.”

Still, he said, the “innuendo” is “sufficient” grounds for a defamation case.

“Somebody on the goddamned legal crew ought to say you need to be careful what you do, because even if you aren’t saying it, if you are implying it, you become subject to a defamation action,” Brown said.

“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 added.

These aren’t Brown’s first public comments about a Black woman that garnered scrutiny.

Back in October when Brown was a mayoral candidate in Memphis, he suggested that a Black woman, in particular, shouldn’t be elected because she might get “raped.”

During a candidates’ forum, Brown was asked, “Why do you think your leadership is needed at a time like this as a Black man instead of a Black woman?”

The answer was likely not one that was expected.

“Sorry, but some things men do real well and one of the main problems is…I don’t want to get crude about it, but some places you need to go to exercise leadership, some of the good ladies in here would get drug into an abandoned apartment and raped,” Brown said. “That’s one of the problems.”

Yes, really.


Not to be outdone, Brown has also previously made headlines for his victim-shaming commentary that appeared to be sympathetic to Bill Cosby amid the disgraced comedian’s rape allegations.

“What about these women being accountable for their own behavior? They were groupies. You know ‘sex, drugs, rock & roll,’ ‘sex, drugs, rap,’ ‘sex, drugs, baseball … football … basketball …  movies … television!’” Brown told Marc Lamont Hill during an interview in 2021. “We forgot what that term meant: sex. drugs rock & roll. The b****** come to the parties. They hang out. They get drunk. They snort lines of blow, and they have a good time. They use the hallway closets to give head … the bathrooms to get down and you go in to get your coat off of the bed and they’re lying on top of it doing somebody.”

And before that, Brown told controversial Pan-Afrikan psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson that putting Harriet Tubman’s face on the $20 bill “downs masculinity” and said the idea only gained interest because of a movie about the historic abolitionist.

“The objective is these feminists are trying to do this movie so they can get a Black woman put on a $20 bill,” Brown said in 2019 about the then-upcoming film Harriet.

“This movie is to soften the public up to the idea of taking a Black woman who freed slaves by leading them to freedom and getting her or another one like her on a $20 bill,” Brown continued. “They can’t get a White woman, so they want a Black woman. They don’t care, they just want a woman, and it downs masculinity. The status of an ethnic group is determined by its men, not its women. And putting a Black woman on there before a Black man is insulting to the Black race because you’re saying the men ain’t worth a damn, you put a woman up there first.”

During that same interview, Brown told Dr. Umar he doesn’t “care” about feminists.

“I don’t give a goddamn about feminists. They can go straight to hell,” he said. “And I know they hate themselves ’cause they got two X chromosomes instead of an XY. They are fraudulent, self-hating and they’re sick.”


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