Drag Race’s Sherry Pie makes grovelling apology after being accused of catfishing men for explicit videos
Drag Race season 12 queen Sherry Pie apologised after five actors accused her of posing as a casting agent and coaxing them into filming videos of themselves in compromising positions.
Sherry Pie, real name Joey Gugliemelli, said he was “sorry, embarrassed and disgusted” with himself after five actors accused him of catfishing.
Gugliemelli, who makes his Drag Race season 12 debut on Friday, March 6, allegedly posed as a casting director and encouraged the men to send him videos of themselves.
One said he filmed himself masturbating on Gugliemelli’s advice.
Josh Lillyman, 23, told BuzzFeed News he first met the season 12 queen while working on a pair of local theatre productions in Nebraska.
He said that Gugliemelli told him he was acting as an “auxiliary casting agent” for a woman in New York called Allison Mossie.
Sherry Pie allegedly helped actor film audition video.
Lillyman said he was instructed to email Mossie regarding a part in a HBO show called Bulk, about a muscular man who grows larger and larger until “he fills the whole room”.
After exchanging a number of emails, Lillyman said he was preparing to film a final audition tape when Gugliemelli offered to help.
During the hours-long shoot, Lillyman said, Gugliemelli suggested he strip down to his underwear.
He was trying to get me to go further.
“He kept saying it’s not quite right,” he told BuzzFeed.
Eventually, Lillyman said, Gugliemelli suggested he go to the bathroom and masturbate to make himself feel “more macho”.
After he did this, Gugliemelli allegedly proposed he masturbate again on camera. He obliged.
“I did everything he asked be to because at that point he had built up so much detail for the show that I was truly convinced it was real and associated with HBO,” Lillyman said.
“It took a lot for me to break that delusion. I was willingly doing all the things he was asking me to.
“He sort of groomed me, I would say.”
Actor says he pretended to take steroids for Allison Mossie.
Ben Shimkus said that he first met Gugliemelli while studying musical theatre at Cortland State University.
In his senior year, by which time Sherry had left the school, he was given Mossie’s email address by another friend and began corresponding with her.
Over three weeks and 150 messages, Shimkus reportedly spoke to “Mossie” about a play she was casting at a prestigious New York theatre and sent her audition videos.
“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,” Shimkus wrote on Facebook.
The purported play was to be about a man taking steroids. Shimkus said he filmed himself pretending to take the drugs and talking “about how much his armpits began to stink and how much he liked that”.
Eventually, Shimkus said, Mossie stopped replying to him.
Theatre had never heard of Allison Mossie.
He said he contacted the theatre she claimed to work for, which informed him they had never heard of an Allison Mossie.
When he asked the friend who had first introduced him to her, he was told that the initial introduction had come via Gugliemelli.
“When I began telling my friends about what had happened to me, 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 Mossie,” Shimkus wrote on Facebook.
“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.
Shimkus said he decided to come forward with his story because of the platform Drag Race is affording Gugliemelli.
“I hope that the success she will undoubtedly have allows her to break free from using internet personas to objectifying other gay men,” he wrote.
“However, I realise the opposite is also possible.”
Sherry Pie apologises.
After Shimkus’ story went viral, Gugliemelli released a statement on Facebook.
“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,” he wrote.
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“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.
“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.”
Gugliemelli said he has been “seeking help and receiving treatment” since returning to New York, and apologised to the cast and crew of Drag Race Season 12.
“All I can do is change the behaviour and that starts with me and doing that work.”
PinkNews has contacted Joey Gugliemelli and VH1 (the network which airs Drag Race) for comment.