DWTS Alum Shangela Accused of Rape in Civil Lawsuit

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Bond Night” – (ABC/Eric McCandless)SHANGELA, GLEB SAVCHENKO
(ABC/Eric McCandless)SHANGELA, GLEB SAVCHENKO

Dancing with the Stars alum Shangela accused of rape in civil lawsuit

RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite and Dancing with the Stars alum Shangela who is Darius Jeremy “DJ” Pierce, was accused of rape in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that while filming the first season of his HBO show We’re Here in 2020, Pierce raped one of the show’s former production assistants, Daniel McGarrigle. McGarrigle, 39, is seeking unspecified damages from Pierce, 42, and the show’s production company, Buckingham Television. 

McGarrigle alleges the encounter occurred in a Monroe, Louisiana, hotel room following an after-work party in February 2020. The lawsuit states that Pierce purchased alcohol for McGarrigle and asked him to come back to Pierce’s hotel to help him pack for an early flight the next day. Read more about the incident at NBC News.

At the hotel room, the suit states, McGarrigle “immediately threw up in the toilet.” Pierce then allegedly suggested McGarrigle spend the night with him in his room, saying, “If you want to lay down in my bed until you feel better, you can do that.” McGarrigle agreed, according to the lawsuit, and passed out on Pierce’s bed fully clothed.

At some point throughout the evening, McGarrigle alleges, he woke up with his pants pulled down and Pierce attempting to have sex with him.

McGarrigle claims he responded by screaming “No!”

McGarrigle claims he responded by screaming “No!” and tried to fight Pierce off but felt “extremely weak.” Throughout the assault Pierce allegedly told McGarrigle, “I know you want it, and you’re going to take it.” 

After the encounter, the suit states, McGarrigle was “fearful of losing his job” and “did not immediately report the sexual assault to the authorities or to Buckingham TV,” and he “tried to maintain a cordial relationship with Pierce.” Eventually, according to the suit, McGarrigle resigned from the role in the summer of 2021.

According to McGarrigle’s attorney, Daniel Gilleon, McGarrigle has been in contact with the Ruston Police Department in northern Louisiana regarding the alleged incident since December. No charges have been filed at this time.

“This newest filing is nothing but an attempt to shake down both me and a well-regarded television company”

Pierce responded in a statement saying that the suit is “entirely meritless,” and that they “perpetuate damaging stereotypes that are harmful not only to me but also to my entire community.”

“This newest filing is nothing but an attempt to shake down both me and a well-regarded television company,” Pierce said. “No one should be fooled: it has no basis in fact or in law, and it will not succeed.”

A representative for HBO’s We’re Here said the network and Buckingham Television received a complaint from McGarrigle in July 2021 regarding “an incident that was alleged to have occurred in early 2020.”

“Buckingham and HBO take the safety and well-being of personnel on our shows very seriously, and Buckingham immediately launched an investigation,” the representative said. “The investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support these allegations.”

Peirce competed in seasons two and three of RuPaul’s Drag Race and season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. Aside from filming the reality show We’re Here, Pierce became the first drag queen to compete in the U.S. version of the hit competition series “Dancing With the Stars” last year with pro partner Gleb Savchenko.

About mj santilli 34830 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!