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Joey Gugliemelli, a.k.a. Sherry Pie, is currently a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but we have a feeling, after Season 12 comes to a close, people are not going to remember him for his sassy one-liners or mad lip-syncing abilities.
This week Gugliemelli apologized for “cat-fishing” several young male actors by pretending to be a casting director and tricking them into sending him videos of themselves.
The allegations first came to light after an aspiring actor named Ben Shimkus took to Facebook to share a “weird story” about Sherry Pie/Joey Gugliemelli.
In the post Shimkus alleged he was contacted by a casting director named “Allison Mossey” who expressed interest in working with him. He later learned “Allison Mossey” was Joey Gugliemelli.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
After Shimkus went public with his story, several other aspiring young male actors told BuzzFeed News that Gugliemelli had done the same to them.
Each told a similar story: That Gugliemelli pretended to be casting director in order to get them to send audition tapes of themselves saying and doing embarrassing and degrading things.
One young man, 23-year-old Josh Lillyman, said he was pressured to masturbate on camera as part of the audition process.
“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,” Lillyman said. “It took a lot for me to break that delusion. I was willingly doing all the things he was asking me to.”
Yesterday, Gugliemelli took to Facebook to issue a blanket apology for his truly predatory behavior.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
He went on to say that he has struggled with mental health issues and is currently seeking treatment in New York City.
“I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions,” Gugliemelli said. “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.”