Ru Paul's Drag Race series 13 star Sherry Pie has apologised after she was accused of catfishing men and tricking them into performing sex acts on camera.
Sherry, real name Joey Gugliemelli, allegedly posed as a casting director, duping aspiring actors who thought they were applying for a role.
Five men allege Gugliemelli made them carry out a variety of strange tasks, and one said he was coerced into masturbating on camera.
One man named David Newman told Buzzfeed he filmed scenes wearing a crop top and shorts for a musical version of A Nightmare Before Christmas that Gugliemelli pretended Tim Burton was affiliated with.
Meanwhile, another man named Ben Shimkus said Gugliemelli posed as a woman called Allison Mossie, pretending to be casting for a role of a man called Jeff who took steroids to gain muscle in a play called Bulk.
Shimkus filmed videos pretending to take steroids and sniffing his own armpits, feeling "embarrassed" but believing he was close to landing the starring role.
He eventually called the playwright company "Allison" had claimed to work for, and they said no one of that name worked for them.
Shimkus said the realisation he had been duped and humiliated had a detrimental effect on his mental health.
Josh Lillyman was tricked into thinking he was auditioning for the same play, and claimed Gugliemelli "groomed" him.
He filmed what he thought were test shots with Gugliemelli, being urged to flex his muscles and strip down to his underpants, before being persuaded to masturbate on camera.
"I did everything he asked be 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 explained.
“It took a lot for me to break that delusion. I was willingly doing all the things he was asking me to.”
He added: “It makes me almost tear up that this happened to so many people."
Taking to his Facebook page, Gugliemelli apologised for his actions, though he has not confirmed or denied any allegations in particular.
"This is Joey, 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.
"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.
"Until being on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant. "
He added he realised while filming the show that he needed to love himself, and he never had – so upon his return home he sought help and "treatment".
He concluded: "I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions. 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."
Gugliemelli is set to make his debut on the show on the second episode which will air this weekend and is available on Netflix .
As the show is pre-recorded, he may appear throughout the entire series up to the finale, where the winner is crowned after the series has aired.
MirrorOnline has reached out to the creators of Ru Paul's Drag Race and to Joey Gugliemelli for further comment.
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