'RuPaul's Drag Race' Disqualifies Sherry Pie Over Catfishing Claims
VH1
TV

This decision arrives after aspiring actor Ben Shimkus accused Sherry, whose birthname is Joey Gugliemelli, of catfishing him in a lengthy Facebook post detailing his alleged experience with the drag performer.

AceShowbiz - Sherry Pie will no longer be starring in upcoming season 12 of "RuPaul's Drag Race". The show has decided to disqualify her following multiple catfishing allegations that are leveled againts the 28-year-old, whose birthname is Joey Gugliemelli.

"In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from 'RuPaul's Drag Race'," VH1 and production company World of Wonder said in a statement on Friday, March 6. "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."

This decision arrives after aspiring actor Ben Shimkus accused Gugliemelli of catfishing him, detailing his alleged experience in a lengthy Facebook post. He alleged that he met Gugliemelli when they studied musical theatre at State University of New York College at Cortland. According to Shimkus, they maintained their frienship even outside the school.

He shared that later he was in contact with a casting director named "Allison Mossey" after a friend tipped him about an available role at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. "Allison and I went through an email thread that lasted over 150 emails in about three weeks. We covered topics of pay, living situations in the city, when I would have to leave school for rehearsals, and conversations about acting choices for the character. I had to film scenes that felt particularly sexual and awkward, but the opportunity seemed too good to let the overt sexual nature or my inhibitions get in the way," he recalled, before adding that he grew suspicious after Mossey ignored his contact requests over a prolonged period of time.

He was shocked when Playwrights Horizons told him later that the company had never heard of her. Shimkus later reached out to the friend who tipped him, saying, "I also asked where he had gotten the contact from. It was from Sherry Pie, who was adamant about her friendship with Allison."

"One of my best friends told me that a colleague who had worked at a theatre doing Hairspray with Sherry also had the same experience with Allison Mossey. Another friend said the same thing had happened to someone she knew. Her friend was also in close contact with Sherry. Wherever Sherry seemed to go, Allison would follow. Since being open about my experience, six people have corroborated stories with me," he added.

Also experiencing the same thing were four other men, including other SUNY Cortland students and members of a Nebraska theater company. They claimed that Gugliemelli posed as a casting director who later coaxed them into submitting fake audition tapes while performing questionable thing including masturbating.

Sherry Pie then responded to the allegations, writing an apology on Thursday. "This is Joey, I want to start by saying how sorry I am that I caused such trauma and pain and how horribly embarrassed and disgusted I am with myself. 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," she said on Facebook.

"Until being on 'RuPaul's Drag Race', I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant. I learned on that show how important 'loving yourself' is and I don’t think I have ever loved myself. I have been seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC. I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions. 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 behavior and that starts with me and doing that work," she added.

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