Queen Latifah on Chris Noth's Firing from 'The Equalizer' amid Claims of Sexual Assault Against Him

CBS confirmed Chris Noth’s removal from The Equalizer last month, days after sexual assault claims against him first surfaced

Queen Latifah is speaking out about Chris Noth's dismissal from The Equalizer after a series of sexual assault allegations against him surfaced last month.

After the allegations were made public, CBS released a statement on Dec. 20 confirming that Noth, 67, had been removed from the series, which he starred in alongside Latifah. "Chris Noth will no longer film additional episodes of The Equalizer, effective immediately," the statement said at the time.

About a month later, Latifah, 51, opened up to People (the TV Show!) special contributor Julie Moran about her former costar Noth.

"It's still surreal. It is such a dicey, delicate situation that requires a great deal of respect," she said, adding, "That's a personal thing that he's going to have to deal with."

As for how his character is being written off, the actress and singer said, "We are figuring out what we want to do creatively on the show and how we're going to deal with that character."

Queen Latifah, Chris Noth
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"Chris's character's obviously a big part of the show and it was amazing chemistry, amazing chemistry," Latifah continued. "And my feeling is justice has to prevail regardless. I just want the right things to be done, you know?"

Latifah and Noth had been filming The Equalizer together since 2020. The first season aired in February 2021, and season 2 followed in October. Noth played William Bishop, a former CIA director, on the series. Latifah is his counterpart, a former CIA operative named Robyn McCall.

The allegations against Noth first surfaced in a Dec. 16 article in The Hollywood Reporter, in which two women accused him of sexually assaulting them. According to one woman, who spoke under the pseudonym Zoe, Noth allegedly raped her in a Los Angeles apartment in 2004. She claimed they met at a high-profile firm in L.A. with ties to celebrities like Noth.

Another woman, using the pseudonym Lily, claimed Noth invited her to his New York City apartment in 2015 after they had dinner and drinks. Lily, who was 25 at the time, said she met The Good Wife alum while working as a server at a local nightclub.

Noth denied the allegations the THR report in a previous statement. "The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false," he said in a statement at the time. "These stories could've been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross. It's difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don't know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women."

Chris Noth in The Equalizer. Barbara Nitke/CBS via Getty

A third woman, who used the name Ava, brought similar sexual assault claims against Noth in a Daily Beast article. Singer Lisa Gentile then came forward with her own allegations of sexual assault in a Dec. 23 press conference led by attorney Gloria Allred.

After Ava's account, Noth's publicist denied the allegations in a statement to PEOPLE, but at the time of Gentile's claims, a rep for Noth did not have a comment.

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The allegations came shortly after Noth appeared in HBO Max's Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…. His return to the franchise was short-lived, though, as his character, John James "Mr. Big" Preston, died in the premiere episode.

TV Line reported that Noth was set to have a brief cameo alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the first season's finale, but the footage will no longer be in the episode in light of the sexual assault claims.

Parker and her costars, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, previously issued a joint statement regarding Noth.

"We are deeply saddened to hear the allegations against Chris Noth," the statement shared on social media read. "We support the women who have come forward and shared their painful experiences. We know it must be a very difficult thing to do and we commend them for it."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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