5 People Come Forward to Accuse ‘Drag Race’ Star Shangela of Sexual Assault

This article contains descriptions of allegations of sexual assault.

Shangela, also known as Darius Jeremy “DJ” Pierce, 43, has been one of those lucky few drag queens who has achieved crossover success, booking roles on TV, film, and formerly cohosting the reality series We’re Here. But reports of Pierce supposedly preying on others started emerging in 2023 — and now a new report outlines the harrowing details of several other reported incidents.

On March 18, Rolling Stone published an in-depth investigation of the allegations against Pierce, interviewing five sources who claim that Pierce sexually assaulted them or tried to. All of the alleged victims described similar circumstances surrounding the alleged assaults. They also spoke out about anti-drag legislation and told Rolling Stone they anticipated their allegations could be used as a “misguided cudgel for conservative censorship.” Read on for more details on the allegations, when they occurred, and how Shangela has responded.

What is Shangela accused of?

Four people told Rolling Stone that Pierce had assaulted them or attempted to have sex with them when they were too inebriated to consent, with an additional person alleging that Pierce attempted to penetrate them anally even as they verbally rejected him. All five people were between the ages of 18 and 23 when the alleged assaults occurred. Rolling Stone reports that these incidents reportedly occurred between 2012 and 2018, in Louisiana, Texas, California, and the U.K.

One source, Helmer, was 20 when the assault allegedly took place in 2017. Rolling Stone reports that he was working at a bar in Los Angeles when he and the then 36-year-old Pierce exchanged numbers and social media accounts. According to a police report obtained by Rolling Stone, Pierce bought him a mojito the following night, and Helmer didn’t “have any recollection of the events that occurred after he drank the Mojito.” Helmer told police that he woke up “completely naked on a bed and believed to be at Pierce’s residence.” Pierce told him that they had had sex with “another guy involved,” someone Pierce said that Helmer “brought in.” However, Helmer didn’t seem to know who it was and asked Pierce who the “other guy” was. Pierce answered that he didn’t know “but you were really into it.”

Another alleged victim, Edgar Ramirez, told Rolling Stone that Pierce assaulted him in 2018 in Texas after a night out. The magazine noted that, unlike other accusers, Ramirez said he provided his own drinks throughout the night. He says that Pierce shoved him to the floor of a closet and tried to penetrate him, as Ramirez described in a post on a pop culture forum, per Rolling Stone. “I’m very confident I was clear with my ‘nos.’ I was declining advances,” Ramirez told Rolling Stone. “He still kept trying anyway.”