“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Shangela has been accused of raping a former HBO production assistant, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.
The drag queen, who also stars on the hit HBO show “We’re Here,” was slapped with a lawsuit by Daniel McGarrigle, who claims the alleged attack took place after a drunken crew party in February 2020.
In court documents obtained by Deadline and seen by Page Six, McGarrigle, 39, alleges Shangela, whose real name is Darius Jeremy Pierce, raped him in a Louisiana hotel room.
McGarrigle alleges the drag queen, who is also his supervisor according to the suit, made him drink five shots and two mixed drinks at the crew party, before inviting him over to a hotel to help him pack his bags for a flight the next day.
According to the suit, McGarrigle claims he “immediately threw up in the toilet” after Pierce allegedly suggested he stayed over.
The alleged attack took place after McGarrigle fell asleep fully clothed in Pierce’s hotel room.
He claims that he screamed “no” and tried to struggle during the alleged attack, but “felt extremely weak,” according to the suit.
“Plaintiff was disoriented from the high he was experiencing from the poppers and the fear that overcame him during the sexual assault,” the lawsuit states.
“Pierce overpowered McGarrigle and was able to hold him down.”
McGarrigle claims that he began to feel disoriented and overcome by fear, alleging that Pierce told him, “I know you want it, and you’re going to take it.”
McGarrigle “did not immediately report the sexual assault to the authorities or to Buckingham TV” because he was “fearful of losing his job,” he claims.
He “tried to maintain a cordial relationship with Pierce” before resigning from his role in 2021, he adds.
Pierce, 42, has called the former HBO staffer’s allegations “entirely meritless,” saying that they “perpetuate damaging stereotypes that are harmful not only to me but also to my entire community.”
“I can’t begin to explain how hurt and disgusted I am by these totally untrue allegations,” Shangela said in a statement to Deadline.
“This newest filing is nothing but an attempt to shake down both me and a well-regarded television company. No one should be fooled: it has no basis in fact or in law, and it will not succeed.”
McGarrigle is seeking unspecified damages for sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence, false imprisonment, and negligence from the drag race star, as well as the show’s production company, Buckingham Television.
“Buckingham and HBO take the safety and well-being of personnel on our shows very seriously, and Buckingham immediately launched an investigation [when the incident was reported to them in July 2021,” a rep for HBO’s “We’re Here” said in a statement shared with Deadline.
“The investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support these allegations.”
Page Six has reached out to reps for Shangela and HBO’s “We’re Here” for further comment.
Pierce first joined the cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” as Shangela during the show’s second season in 2010.
After being eliminated in the first episode, Shangela returned in season 3 where Pierce made it to the top five, becoming a well-known drag queen.
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Since his stint on the hit show, Pierce appeared in several TV shows, including “Glee” and “Dancing With The Stars.”
In 2020, Pierce landed the co-hosting gig on HBO’s “We’re Here” which sees Shangela and two other drag queens travel across the country in search of drag queens.
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