Advertisement

Shangela Reportedly Accused of Sexual Assault by 5 People Days After Alleged Rape Lawsuit Is Dismissed

Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce, better known as 'RuPaul's Drag Race' alum Shangela, denied all accusations of sexual assault, calling them “false and unsupported by any evidence or reliable witness testimony" in a letter from his lawyer Andrew Brettler

<p>Phillip Faraone/Getty</p> Darius Jeremy “DJ” Pierce a.k.a Shangela

Phillip Faraone/Getty

Darius Jeremy “DJ” Pierce a.k.a Shangela

Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce, better known as RuPaul's Drag Race star Shangela, has been accused of multiple sexual assaults between 2012 to 2018.

Five people have alleged that the RuPaul's Drag Race alum sexually assaulted them or attempted to have sex with them despite their being too inebriated to consent over a period of six years in Louisiana, Texas, California and the United Kingdom, per an investigation by Rolling Stone.

The report comes five days after a lawsuit against Pierce, in which he was accused of rape and gender violence by former Drag Race production assistant Daniel McGarrigle, was dismissed “with prejudice,” according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.

In a letter sent to Rolling Stone, Pierce's lawyer Andrew Brettler denied all accusations of sexual assault, calling the allegations “false and unsupported by any evidence or reliable witness testimony." When reached by PEOPLE, Brettler declined to comment further on the allegations. PEOPLE also reached out to Pierce's rep but was referred to his attorney.

One of the alleged victims, a 27-year-old man identified only by his first name, Helmer, claimed that Pierce invited him to dinner in Los Angeles and ordered him a cocktail when he was 20. Though Helmer informed Pierce he did not regularly drink that, he told Rolling Stone he continued to drink the cocktail out of respect for the drag queen and later woke up "completely naked on a bed and believed to be at Pierce’s residence.”

“[Helmer] asked Pierce what happened last night and why he was naked,” read Helmer's apparent complaint to police, obtained by the outlet. “Pierce responded with, ‘We had sex, and there was another guy involved that you brought in.’ [Helmer] asked who that other guy was, and Pierce stated he did not know, ‘but you were really into it.’”

Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce a.k.a Shangela
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce a.k.a Shangela

Related: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star Shangela Is 'Disgusted' by 'Damaging' Rape, Gender Violence Claims by Ex-Show Assistant

Helmer later reported the alleged sexual assault to his roommates — whom Rolling Stone spoke with to confirm the account — as well as the Los Angeles Police Department. (PEOPLE reached out to the LAPD for comment but they were unable to confirm.)

In Brettler's letter to Rolling Stone, he claimed Pierce and Helmer engaged in consensual sex and that Helmer continued to contact the television personality in the months following. Brettler also refuted the incident was reported to police, saying, "No one from law enforcement has ever contacted Mr. Pierce or his representatives about [Helmer’s] bogus claims."

Edward Ramirez, another alleged victim, reportedly told Rolling Stone that Pierce had sexually assaulted him in a walk-in closet in the bathroom in 2018 after a night out in Texas, where they shared a few drinks.

At the time of the alleged assault, Ramirez, then 21, shared his allegations on an internet blog dedicated to celebrity pop culture named ATRL, where he claimed Pierce "shoved me on the floor in a closet and tried to penetrate me." Ramirez noted that he "probably would've had consensual sex with him" had Pierce asked, but felt that getting "shoved" and "thrown on the floor" was "uncomfortable and seemed like an abuse of power."

Ramirez, now 27, told the outlet that he was "very confident I was clear with my 'no's'"and declined the drag queen's advances. He also said he did not report the incident to police because "he distrusted police authorities in Texas as a Black queer man," according to Rolling Stone.

In response to these claims, Brettler said Ramirez and Pierce were never alone together, providing three witness statements to dispute Ramirez's claims.

ABC/Eric McCandless Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce a.k.a Shangela on 'Dancing with the Stars'
ABC/Eric McCandless Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce a.k.a Shangela on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Related: Lawsuit Against Shangela Permanently Dismissed After Ex-Show Assistant Claimed Rape, Gender Violence

Checri, a third man who came forward, reportedly claimed that Pierce attempted anal penetration without his consent in November 2017. The 24-year-old alleged that Pierce bought rounds of drinks for the group of people they were with at a nightclub in London. They later returned to Pierce's hotel room and Checri, then 18, alleged that he was so intoxicated that he threw up all over the bed. While he was sick, he says, Pierce attempted to penetrate him.

Checri also told Rolling Stone that he didn’t report the alleged incident to authorities "because of a lack of trust in the police."

In response to these allegations, Brettler asserted that Checri "pursued a physical relationship" with Pierce and “no one was visibly intoxicated, or impaired to the point that they could not make decisions for themselves." Brettler said Checri and Pierce "made out" fully clothed before falling asleep but once Checri became ill, Pierce woke up and encouraged Checri to go home, to which he obliged.

A fourth accuser named Zachary reportedly recalled a similar experience in 2015 and claimed he was awoken during a state of deep intoxication by Pierce and another man allegedly attempting to penetrate him forcefully. After meeting Zachary, then 23, at a meet-and-greet event in New Orleans, the drag queen allegedly "supplied" him with drinks until he "blacked out." When he woke up, he claimed he "heard Shangela say, ‘Stick it in him,’ and I quickly said ‘No.'"

“I am pretty sure that [the unidentified man] didn’t do anything, but I passed out again, so I am not positive," Zachary, now 32, told Rolling Stone.

Brettler told Rolling Stone that Pierce and Zachary “engaged in consensual sexual acts before falling asleep," and noted that the two continued texting each other through April 2016. “At no time did Zachary ever accuse Mr. Pierce of wrongdoing or any inappropriate conduct,” Brettler wrote.

Khun Minn Ohn / HBO / Everett Bob the Drag Queen (aka Christopher Caldwell), Shangela Laquifa Wadley (aka Darius Jeremy Pierce), Eureka O'Hara (aka David Huggard)
Khun Minn Ohn / HBO / Everett Bob the Drag Queen (aka Christopher Caldwell), Shangela Laquifa Wadley (aka Darius Jeremy Pierce), Eureka O'Hara (aka David Huggard)

RoyLee Soliz, another alleged victim, claimed that he too met Pierce at a Texas meet-and-greet in April 2012 when he was 20 and accepted his offer to stay the night in his hotel room after drinking too much after a night out together. While trying to go to sleep, Soliz alleged Pierce attempted to put his penis in his mouth but didn't have the "strength" to tell him to stop due to his inebriated state, according to the outlet's report.

Brettler denied these accusations in the letter to Rolling Stone, writing, "Mr. Pierce has no recollection of meeting RoyLee Soliz, nor does he recognize that individual’s name. While Mr. Pierce does not necessarily dispute that he met with Mx. Soliz more than a decade ago, he adamantly denies ever engaging in nonconsensual sex of any kind with them, or anyone else.”

The report from Rolling Stone appears to mirror the allegations that were brought forward by McGarrigle in a May 2023 lawsuit. McGarrigle previously alleged Pierce had raped him and subjected him to gender violence while they both appeared on HBO's We're Here in 2020, before the suit was permanently dropped on Wednesday.

Related: 'We're Here' Stars Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka and Shangela Are 'Family': We 'Depend on Each Other'

Pierce previously denounced McGarrigle's allegations in May 2023, saying in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, "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," he added. "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."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

A spokesperson for the series at the time confirmed to PEOPLE that a complaint was filed after filming We’re Here, but said an internal investigation found no proof of the alleged altercation. "Buckingham Television, the production company for 'We're Here,' received a complaint late summer 2021 regarding an incident that was alleged to have occurred in early 2020,” the spokesperson said.

“Buckingham and HBO take the safety and well-being of personnel on our shows very seriously, and Buckingham immediately launched an investigation. The investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support these allegations."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.