Content warning: This article has repeated mentions of rape.
American drag queen Shangela, best known for competing twice on the Emmy-winning reality competition show RuPaul's Drag Race and once on its All Stars spinoff, has been accused of rape.
In a civil lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, 29-year-old plaintiff Daniel McGarrigle accused 42-year-old Shangela (real name: Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce) of sexual assault, gender violence, false imprisonment, negligence, and hostile work environment sexual harassment, among other charges.
According to the nine-page court filing, McGarrigle was a production assistant on the HBO series We're Here, which features Shangela and fellow Drag Race alumni Bob the Drag Queen (Season 8 winner) and Eureka O'Hara (Season 9 contestant, Season 10 and All Stars 6 runner-up).
It was during the fifth episode's production in February 2020 when Shangela allegedly raped McGarrigle.
"The cast and crew celebrated their 'wrap' party... While there, Pierce was heavily flirtatious with McGarrigle and insisted on buying him drinks even though Plaintiff informed Pierce that he did not drink often. Pierce replied, 'Well, I already bought this one, so just take it.' McGarrigle complied," the legal document read.
After supposedly buying everything that McGarrigle drank that evening, Shangela apparently invited him back to his hotel.
"At some point during the evening, McGarrigle woke up to a cold liquid being poured down to the side of his face. The liquid burned his eyes and nose, and as he awoke he could taste it, too," the lawsuit read.
It then explained how the liquid was a type of poppers ("liquid commonly inhaled by gay men during anal sex") before proceeding in detail to how Shangela was "rubbing his penis against his buttocks, attempting to insert himself into his anus."
This was allegedly while McGarrigle tried to fight him off but felt "extremely weak."
The drag queen has since denied the claims: "I can’t begin to explain how hurt and disgusted I am by these totally untrue allegations... They are personally offensive and perpetuate damaging stereotypes that are harmful not only to me but also to my entire community... An external investigation into this embittered individual’s claims previously concluded that they were completely without merit. 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.”