'RuPaul's Drag Race' star Sherry Pie apologized after five men accused her of catfishing them as a casting director who asked them to do degrading things on camera

  • Sherry Pie, a contestant on season 12 of "Ru Paul's Drag Race," has issued an apology on Facebook following accusations of catfishing and grooming made by five men.
  • Sherry Pie's real name is Joey Gugliemelli, and actors Ben Shimkus and Josh Lillyman, amongst others, told BuzzFeed News about their experiences with Gugliemelli, who pretended to be a casting director named Allison Mossie in order to get the men to do degrading things on camera.
  • As Mossie, Gugliemelli would tell the actors that they were up for a part and would be required to do various things and record audition tapes for the role, including masturbating on camera and sending shirtless photos.
  • Shimkus and Lillyman investigated into Mossie once their communications stopped, and found out that Mossie didn't exist at all, but that other men had had similar experiences. All of them were given Mossie's contacts by Gugliemelli.
  • In his apology, Gugliemelli wrote: "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."
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Sherry Pie has issued an apology after five men accused the "Ru Paul's Drag Race" star of catfishing them.

Sherry Pie's real name is Joey Gugliemelli, and, as reported by Buzz Feed News, the men accused him of pretending to be a casting director in order to get them to do sexual and degrading things on camera for him.

Gugliemelli posted a Facebook status on the March 6 apologizing for his actions:

"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," Gugliemelli wrote.

"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 also wrote that he has been receiving treatment for his mental health in New York, and also apologized to his fellow contestants on season 12 of "Ru Paul's Drag Race."

"All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work."

The accusations surfaced after Ben Shimkus, who attended Cortland State University's Musical Theatre program with Gugliemelli, posted his own Facebook status on the 4th of March.

In 2015, Shimkus, after being referred by a friend, began communicating with a woman named Allison Mossie, someone he thought was a casting director for a new play at Playwright Horizons in New York City, over email.

The two exchanged more than 150 emails, predominantly discussing the acting choices for the character Shimkus thought he was going for, but never met or spoke in person. Eventually, Mossie persuaded Shimkus to film "audition scenes" for the role.

"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 in his Facebook status.

Shimkus wrote that he sent Mossie videos of himself pretending to take steroids and pretending to enjoy how much his armpits stank. "I simply told myself that my parents wouldn't be allowed to see the show, but I wanted the professional experience and the bright and shiny object on my resume."

However, Shimkus decided to reach out to Playwright's Horizon directly to ask about Mossie, and the person he contacted told him that nobody within the company had ever heard of a woman called Allison Mossie. Shimkus then reached out to the friend who referred Mossie, who told him that he got the contact from Sherry Pie.

"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 Mossey," Shimkus wrote.

"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."

Another accuser, Josh Lillyman, met Gugliemelli in 2017 in Nebraska's the Crane River Theater. They were both cast  in productions of "Hairspray" and "The Little Mermaid."

"He sort of groomed me, I would say," Liliyman told BuzzFeed News.

Gugliemelli told Lillyman that he was an "auxiliary casting agent" for Allison Mossie for an upcoming HBO show called "Bulk," the same fabricated production Shimkus was told about — except Lillyman was told "Bulk" was a TV show, not a play.


Lillyman began emailing the address alliemossie@gmail.com, and Mossie told Lillyman to work with Gugliemelli in order to prepare for the audition for the role.

"He said the premise of the show is the guy gets bigger and bigger and bigger until he fills the whole room," Lillyman told BuzzFeed News. Lillyman and Gugliemelli then began preparing recorded audition tapes for Lillyman to send Mossie, and Gugliemelli offered to go round Lillyman's house to shoot the final one.

This final shoot took three to four hours, and Gugliemelli suggested that Lillyman take his shirt off and eventually strip down to his underwear in front of camera — all in order to get into character.

 "He was trying to get me to go further," Lillyman said. "He kept saying it's not quite right."

Gugliemelli then encouraged Lillyman to masturbate in the bathroom in order to feel more masculine, which Lillyman did reluctantly as he wanted the part badly. Once he emerged, Gugliemelli told Lillyman to masturbate again, but in front of camera. Lillyman agreed.

"I did everything he asked me 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 told BuzzFeed News. "It took a lot for me to break that delusion. I was willingly doing all the things he was asking me to."

Read the full story on BuzzFeed.

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