Drag Race star Shangela accused of multiple sexual assaults

Shangela, whose real name is Darius Jeremy (DJ) Pierce, at SiriusXM.

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Shangela has been accused of multiple sexual assaults.

Four people have claimed that Darius Jeremy (“DJ”) Pierce, who goes by the drag name Shangela, had sexually assaulted them or attempted to have sex with them when they were too drunk to consent, an investigation by Rolling Stone has found. 

A fifth person claimed Pierce had attempted anal penetration, despite rejecting his advances. 

Pierce has adamantly denied all the allegations, describing them as “false and unsupported by any evidence or reliable witness testimony”. 

The five people described incidents with Pierce between 2012 to 2018 in Louisiana, Texas, California, and the UK, when they were between the ages of 18 and 23, in the report, published on Monday (18 March). 

All five of the accusers explained that Pierce, now 42, was much older than them at the time of the alleged incidents, and was rising in star power after first appearing on season two of Drag Race in 2010. Three of the five people said they were aspiring drag queens. 

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Several of the accounts alleged that sexual assault took place when the accusers were very inebriated, so could not consent. 

One of the accusers, Zachary, who was 23 at the time of the alleged incident, said Pierce, then 34, “supplied [him] with drinks until [he] blacked out”, alleging that he had woken up to Pierce attempting to penetrate him. 

One of Zachary’s friends, who spoke to Rolling Stone, said: “[Zachary] told us about the night, and at first, he was excited. He was like, ‘I got to hang out with Shangela,’” 

The friend then added that Pierce had supplied Zachary with alcohol on a night where he was already heavily drinking. 

“[Zachary] was maybe 130 pounds at that point. He didn’t need a lot to get drunk. Anything after that was probably too much,” the friend said. 

Another accuser, RoyLee Soliz, 32, told a similar story, that they had met Pierce at a Pride meet-and-greet, and that Pierce had “supplied drinks throughout the night”. 

“I just remember trying to sleep and closing my mouth when she tried to put her penis in my mouth,” Soliz told the outlet.

“I really didn’t have any strength to tell her to stop or that I didn’t want to have sex with her… She had gotten me so drunk that I couldn’t say no, and I was in no way mentally OK enough to feel strong or demand her to stop what she was doing.”

Soliz added: “Shangela was someone that I looked up to, rooted for, and was inspired by. But what happened to me wasn’t OK, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

RuPaul's Drag Race star Shangela
Shangela is the stage name of drag performer Darius Jeremy (DJ) Pierce. (Dia Dipasupil/WireImage via Getty)

Pierce has denied the allegations, but admitted to meeting with four of the accusers on the dates of the alleged assaults, claiming he does not remember the fifth person. 

In a legal letter to Rolling Stone, Pierce, via his lawyer Andrew Brettler, described the allegations as “false and unsupported by any evidence or reliable witness testimony”. 

Brettler added that Pierce “adamantly denies ever engaging in non-consensual sex.”

Pierce has previously denied accusations of sexual assault after a former staff member of HBO’s We’re Here, Daniel McGarrigle, filed a lawsuit against Pierce in May 2023 – which has since been settled – alleging that the drag star had raped him at a crew wrap party for the show.

Pierce denied the accusations at the time, calling them “totally untrue”, and claiming they “perpetuate damaging stereotypes” about the LGBTQ+ and drag communities. 

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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