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RuPaul’s Drag Race star Sherry Pie disqualified over ‘predatory’ catfishing claims

Contestant was accused of posing as a casting director and asking men to masturbate in fake audition tapes

Ellie Harrison
Saturday 07 March 2020 11:32
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Trailer for RuPaul's Drag Race UK

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Sherry Pie has been disqualified from the show after multiple men claimed he “catfished” them.

Joey Gugliemelli, whose stage name is Sherry Pie, is alleged to have posed as a casting director and asked aspiring performers to submit “disturbing” audition tapes, with one man claiming he agreed to masturbate for him on camera.

An investigation by BuzzFeed News reported allegations from five men that they had been deceived over several years by Gugliemelli, who has since apologised for his “truly cruel” actions.

In a Facebook statement revealing he was “horribly embarrassed and disgusted" with himself, he wrote: "I know that the pain and hurt that I have caused will never go away and I know that what I did was wrong and truly cruel.”

Of his involvement in RuPaul’s Drag Race, he added: "I also want to say how sorry I am to my sisters of season 12 and honestly the whole network and production company. All I can do is change the behaviour and that starts with me and doing that work."

Producers have said Gugliemelli appears in season 12 of RuPaul's Drag Race but has now been disqualified and will not appear in the final.

A statement on behalf of network VH1 and production company World Of Wonder said: "In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie's statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul's Drag Race.

"Out of respect for the hard work of the other queens, VH1 will air the season as planned.

"Sherry will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring."

One of Gugliemelli’s alleged victims told BuzzFeed News he was glad Sherry Pie had been disqualified from the show. “I think it was the right thing to do,” he said. “As much as I want to say that our personal lives shouldn’t affect our professional, this is different.

“This was premeditated predatory behaviour, and we can’t let any of the LGBTQI youth that’s out there watching think that this is OK in any capacity.”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race, the show that searches for "America's next drag superstar", streams on Netflix in the UK

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