Anika Noni Rose Says She Was Sexually Assaulted On A Plane And The Police Aren’t Doing Anything About It

January 19, 2018  |  


Reading the headline of actress Anika Noni Rose’s assault, I instantly saw her smacking the corpse of her assailant in For Colored Girls. Sadly, in real life, Rose has yet to identify the man who assaulted her last year while she was on a flight.

During a sit down on SiriusXM’s “Make It Plain with Mark Thompson,” Rose said, “I was assaulted on a plane last year and I haven’t been able to get this person’s name … I was asleep on a plane and I was assaulted by the man sitting next to me.”

As a result of the assault, Rose had the plane turned around and followed all protocol. Still, authorities have refused to release his name or investigate her claims.

“There’s a Freedom of Information Act you’re supposed to be able to get people’s names and I made a report right then with the FBI, and they dropped the case … It’s a really tough thing to deal with when something happens to you and you do everything that you’re supposed to do and somebody somewhere decides, well, we’re not going to go forward with this.”

Rose said that before the assault, she had no interaction with the man sitting next to her.

“There wasn’t even a, ‘Hi, how ya doing?'” She was introduced to him after his violation which woke her up out of her sleep.

After Rose told the flight attendant what happened, the man began saying things that were “so out of the box.”

Initially, Rose wanted to keep the plane in the air but his comments eventually prompted her to take the flight attendant’s offer that the plane be turned around. The man was removed from the plane once it landed.

Choking back tears, Rose said, “I was shaken. I was so upset and so hurt and angry. I wanted to punch that man. And I knew that that would take away from the story I had to tell, so I would hold in everything that I was feeling to be able to tell this story and be heard and taken seriously. The amount of care that is taken to protect perpetrators is vastly heavier and stronger than the amount of care that is taken to protect victims.”

While the police have yet to take action, Rose is not giving up her fight for justice. She says she has a picture of the man she is attempting to identify.

Rose made sure to note that the sexual assault conversation we’re having in our nation is not limited to Hollywood.

“I’m a woman asleep on a plane. I wasn’t dressed up, I wasn’t fancy … and somebody felt free to touch me in that moment,” she said. “You don’t have to be in Hollywood, you don’t have to be dressed up, you don’t have to be a siren.”

You can listen to Rose detail this incident here and speak about healing and moving forward in the interview below.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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