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Drag Race Star Shangela Accused of Rape in California Lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES
Drag performer Shangela arrives for HBO’s ‘We’re Here’ Season 2 Premiere on October 08, 2021 in Culver City, CA. File photo: DFree, Shutter Stock, licensed.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Gay news source, The Advocate, reports “A former production assistant has filed a civil lawsuit against drag performer Shangela, accusing the RuPaul’s Drag Race alum of raping him in a Louisiana hotel room following a wrap party for the star’s HBO reality series We’re Here.” 

We’re Here features three drag queen performers documenting their visits to small towns across the U.S. where they introduce the locals to the drag experience. 

Daniel McGarrigle, 39, filed a civil suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday alleging Darius Jeremy “DJ” Pierce, who performs as Shangela, “raped him in the entertainer’s hotel room” on Feb. 25, 2020, the article continues. 

I tried to fight him off, but I was weak and he was stronger than me, and he held me down,” McGarrigle told the L.A. TimesSeveral people who worked with McGarrigle told the paper that McGarrigle had told them about the alleged rape previously. 

In a statement released to the L.A. TimesPierce denied all of McGarrigle’s allegations, saying they had been found baseless by an external investigation. 

“I can’t begin to explain how hurt and disgusted I am by these totally untrue allegations,” Pierce said in the statement. “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,” Pierce proclaimed.

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. As a hardworking and outspoken drag entertainer for more than a decade, I know that I am far from alone in battling ignorance, bigotry and prejudice, all of which played a role in the filing of this complaint. That is why I will fight this entirely meritless lawsuit and not allow it to destroy me and those I love, or harm the causes we all stand for,” he concluded. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit calls the alleged rape “an act of gender violence” and claims McGarrigle suffered damages, including “past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings and earning capacity, pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish and embarrassment.” The former We’re Here production assistant is seeking unspecified damages from Pierce and Buckingham Television “in an amount appropriate to punish and make an example of Pierce.” 

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