'RuPaul’s Drag Race' Alum Shangela Has Faced Multiple Accusations of Sexual Assault

Shangela’s former assistant accused her of “sexual assault, gender violence, and false imprisonment” in May 2023.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Mar. 19 2024, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

Shangela in fuchsia dress
Source: Getty Images

Content warning: This article mentions graphic allegations of sexual assault.

Undoubtedly, the LGBTQIA reality TV watchers are thankful for RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show has introduced millions to the drag queen world and helped change most of their stars’ lives forever.

The notion is certainly true for Shangela, who appeared on Drag Race in Seasons 2 and 3 and parlayed her (Shangela uses she/her pronouns while in drag) career into more fruitful opportunities, including a spot on Dancing With the Stars and a role as in A Star Is Born as a drag bar emcee.

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In March 2024, Shangela, whose real name is Darius Jeremy "DJ" Pierce, made headlines after five people named him (Shangela uses he/him pronouns as Darius) of sexual assault. Shangela has denied all accusations. However, despite Shangela denying any of the allegations, this isn’t the first time Shangela has received a lawsuit regarding being untoward with someone.

Shangela in pink dress and fur coat on red carpet
Source: Getty Images
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In 2023, Shangela was accused of raping a former assistant, Daniel McGarrigle, in 2020.

Shangela’s accusations began in 2023. That May, Entertainment Weekly reported the reality star was sued (as Darius) by his former assistant, Daniel McGarrigle. Daniel worked as Shangela’s driver in 2019 during the shooting for Shangela’s HBO docuseries, We’re Here.

Daniel claimed in his Los Angeles County lawsuit that while working with Shangela on behalf of Buckingham Television, Shangela raped him in February 2020. The incident allegedly occurred after they attended a wrap party for We’re Here at El Toro in Rustin, La., which resulted in Shangela allegedly luring an inebriated Daniel to his hotel room.

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Daniel claimed he briefly passed out and woke up to “poppers,” a popular sex drug, on his face and Shangela “on the lower half of his body, rubbing his penis against his buttocks, attempting to insert himself into his anus."

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While Daniel stated he tried to keep a “cordial” relationship with Shangela, he eventually posted (and deleted) a social media post accusing him of assault. Daniel also sued Shangela for “sexual assault, gender violence, violation of the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976, false imprisonment, negligence, sexual harassment, and Buckingham's alleged failure to prevent sexual harassment.”

He said that, through Shangela’s alleged actions, he suffered “damages, and will continue to suffer damages, including but not limited to, past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings and earning capacity, pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and embarrassment.”

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Shangela denied the accusations, stating in court that Daniel, the plaintiff, “fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against Pierce and is barred by the applicable statute of limitations.” Shangela later told Entertainment Weekly the allegations were “personally offensive and perpetuate damaging stereotypes that are harmful not only to me but also to my entire community.”

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On March 13, 2024, the case between Daniel and Shangela was dismissed with prejudice. Court documents show that “[t]he Parties attended a mediation on Jan 16, 2024,” which resulted in Daniel requesting that the trial be dismissed.

Shangela in green outfit on hbo max red carpet
Source: Getty Images
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In 2024, more of Shangela’s accusers claimed the ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star sexually assaulted them between 2012 and 2018.

One week after Shangela and David’s case was dismissed in L.A. County Court, the Drag Race alum received another lawsuit, this time regarding five men who claimed Shangela assaulted them in the years between 2012 and 2018 when they were aged 18–23.

Each of the accusers claimed Shangela “drank with them from night until morning” and that they were ultimately assaulted by Shangela. One of the accusers stated they had been intoxicated to the point of vomiting during their assault.

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Like Shangela’s 2023 case, she has denied any nonconsensual acts between the men, claiming their accounts were “false and unsupported by any evidence or reliable witness testimony.” Shangela also stated she only remembered interacting with four of the five accusers. While speaking about the case with Rolling Stone, one of the accusers, who only gave his first name, Helmer, said their decision to file the police report came after seeing Shangela in the news for the 2023 case.

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