“RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans were shocked Friday to find contestant Sherry Pie had been disqualified — before she’d even debuted.
Turns out the comedy queen, who rated second in her first runway on Friday, is a serial catfisher.
Five young actors told Buzzfeed News that Sherry (real name Joey Gugliemelli) had posed as a casting director and gotten them to do embarrassing things on camera — including masturbating.
“In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race,” A statement on the show’s Twitter announced. “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.”
Ben Shimkus, 25, was the first to notify the public on his Facebook page about being catfished by Gugliemelli — who posed as casting agent Allison Mossey. Gugliemelli gave Shimkus an email for “Mossey,” who was supposedly casting roles for a new play at the prestigious Playwright’s Horizons in New York City.
The gig was up when Shimkus called the theater to ask about “Mossey.”
“I eventually grew wearisome of the back and forth that seemed to be going nowhere and reached out to Playwright’s Horizons directly to ask about their relationship with Allison Mossey. The person that I contacted notified me that nobody within the company had ever heard of her,” Shimkus, who now performs on cruise lines, said.
“The specific video submissions I sent were of me taking steroids and immediately growing larger muscles and gaining physical power,” the embarrassed and humiliated Shimkus wrote.” I had sent suggestive videos of myself, and I didn’t know what the videos were being used for. … Since being open about my experience, six people have corroborated stories with me.”
Another young actor, Josh Lillyman, 23, told Buzzfeed Gugliemelli presented himself as an “auxiliary casting agent” for an upcoming HBO show called “Bulk.” Gugliemelli, who got Lillyman to masturbate on camera, was lying.
Gugliemelli has since apologized on his Facebook page, noting: “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. … 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.”