Joey Gugliemelli, who famously goes by the drag name Sherry Pie, has been disqualified from Season 12 of Rupaul’s Drag Race following the explosive Buzzfeed article which alleged the performer previously catfished several men while pretending to be a casting director named Allison Mossie.
A spokesperson for VH1, the network on which Drag Race airs, and World of Wonder, the series’ longtime production company, put an official statement regarding the allegations against Sherry Pie, 27, after the New York-based queen admitted to taking advantage of his former friends’ through his Allison Mossie alias on his Facebook page. Sherry Pie is the second queen to ever be disqualified from the show.
VH1 tweeted, “In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race…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.”
The five men who spoke to Buzzfeed about Sherry Pie’s scandal all shared similar experiences, describing how they believed that they were auditioning for a play entitled Bulk, or in some cases, an HBO series of the same made-up title. According to Josh Lillyman, 23, Sherry Pie asked him to masturbate on camera for his audition.
Lillyman, who worked with Sherry Pie at Crane River Theatre’s production of Hairspray in 2017 said, “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. It took a lot for me to break that delusion. I was willingly doing all the things he was asking me to.”
Here’s what you need to know about Sherry Pie:
1. Sherry Pie Was First Identified As ‘Allison Mossie’ Through A Viral Facebook Post From Ben Shimkus
Before Buzzfeed’s article came out, Ben Shimkus shared a lengthy post on Facebook about his experience with Sherry Pie. Shimkus started out by saying the he’s a huge fan of Drag Race, the show actually inspired to come out as gay, but wasn’t sure he could watch it this year due to Sherry Pie, being cast.
The two went to Cortland State University together, where they were both in the Musical Theatre Department. After Sherry Pie graduated, and Shimkus was still a senior, when “another close friend of mine reached out to me and told me there was an audition for a new play at the prestigious Playwright’s Horizons in New York City with a role that I was good for. He gave me an email for a woman named Allison Mossey.
Shimkus said he traded over 150 emails with Mossie. “We covered topics of pay, living situations in the city, when I would have to leave school for rehearsals, and conversations about acting choices for the character. 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. 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.”
Shimkus sent Mossie videos in which he acted out taking steroids to grow bigger muscles and felt embarrassed. “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.”
2. Three Hours After Buzfeed’s Article Came Out, Sherry Pie Issued A Lengthy Apology Letter
With all the receipts out in the open, Sherry Pie didn’t have much of a choice but to make a public apology statement. He wrote, “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.
“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. 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. All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work.”
3. Sherry Pie Reportedly Makes It Far During Season 12 Of ‘Drag Race’
Every year, Rupaul receives thousands of applications from drag queens around the world to compete on the competition reality show. Over the past 12 seasons, along with four All-Star seasons, Drag Race is the best gig any aspiring show queen can receive.
To keep the winner a secret, Drag Race films the season’s episode first, and then there can be as long as six months to a year before producers film the live finale. Unfortunately, for Sherry Pie, news of her past came to light before she even premiered on Season 12, and unfortunately for fans, the regular season was already taped. Therefore, Sherry Pie will remain a staple on the series until she’s told to “Sashay Away.”
As Shimkus shared on Facebook, Sherry Pie reportedly does well on this season of Drag Race, and while he wishes her the best, he felt the need to speak out as such exposure could become a double-edged sword.
“Sherry’s success will bring her more opportunities to victimize other people. What Sherry did to all of us was wrong. Although Sherry’s drag may be admired by our community, I hope that our community also recognizes the impact of giving her a bigger stage to broadcast from. I hope Allison Mossey and other tactics of sexualizing people in our community without their consent is put to an end.”
4. Sherry Pie Is Famous For Her Scary Halloween Inspired Looks
Sherry Pie has experienced huge success in the drag world, and her notable “scary” looks have made her a big name in New York City.
According to Gugliemelli’s IMDB page, in horror costume drag, Sherry Pie appeared as a Psychopathic Serial Killer in Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart Visit a Haunted House special in 2016, and in 2015, was featured on ABC News’ Digital Charli James & Olivia Smith – Blood Manor.
5. The Response On Twitter To Sherry Pie’s Scandal Has Not Been Kind
Fans of Drag Race are upset for a multitude or reasons. On Twitter, users online shared feelings of frustarion that producers didn’t do background checks well enough, annoyance that viewers will have to watch Sherry Pie on screen for the rest of the season, and most of all, compassion for all the men that were catfished.