“Acknowledging the Need Is the First Step”: Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Daughter Encourages Her to Embrace Therapy

The actress has recently shared a harrowing experience from 2013

Sheryl Lee Ralph, acclaimed for her role in Abbott Elementary, recently shared a harrowing experience from 2013 when her son Etienne, then 31 years old, faced a traumatic incident. After being involved in a brain-damaging car accident, he was later mugged and stabbed, adding to the distressing situation. Looking back on that challenging period, Ralph opened up about the significant support she received from her daughter Ivy-Victoria, who was 28 at the time. Ivy-Victoria played a pivotal role in motivating her mother to seek therapy to cope with the trauma that had affected their family.

At a Project Angel Food’s “Rise to the Challenge” ceremony, Ralph revealed her initial resistance to therapy due to her experiences as a “child of integration,” which made her hesitant to seek help from others. She explained that she was accustomed to facing challenges head-on and had been conditioned to deal with adversities alone. However, her daughter’s advice made her realize the importance of addressing her trauma.

Ralph acknowledged that throughout her life, she had been exposed to hurtful experiences, which strengthened her resilience. She learned to overcome hardships and viewed them as opportunities for growth. Despite the distress caused by her son’s accident, Ralph embraced an important lesson about motherhood: loving her children unconditionally and supporting them through difficult moments.

She shared her pride in Etienne’s nonprofit organization, WalkGoodLA, which focuses on healing, mental health, and overall well-being. Ralph noted how her son’s own experiences had shaped him into someone capable of helping others, turning his pain into a source of purpose and service.

In a previous interview with AARP Magazine, Ralph described how she physically broke down upon learning of her son’s injuries. Etienne had suffered a concussion in a car accident during college, and later, he was mugged and shot multiple times. Thankfully, he survived and went on to establish his own production company and the nonprofit, WalkGoodLA.

Sheryl Lee Ralph has two children, Etienne and Ivy-Victoria, whom she shares with her ex-husband, Eric Maurice. The couple divorced in 2001. Ralph’s love for her children runs deep, and she considers them her most precious and cherished gifts in life.

Through her candid accounts, Sheryl Lee Ralph reminds us of the strength and resilience needed to navigate challenging times as a parent, and how seeking support and love are essential in the journey of motherhood.

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