Report: Lawsuit Dropped by Accuser Alleging Sexual Assault by Shangela
Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.
A report claims that a lawsuit alleging sexual assault by "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Shangela has been dropped by the accuser.
Radar Online detailed that, "[a]ccording to court documents," the accuser, Daniel McGarrigle, "recently attended mediation with Shangela."
"The two reached an agreement where McGarrigle would dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, which means he cannot refile in the future," the article said.
"McGarrigle said he would file to dismiss the lawsuit by March 1, 2024."
As previously reported, Shangela – whose name out of drag is DJ Pierce – was one of three drag artists who toured conservative parts of the U.S. in the HBO Max reality show "We're Here," which McGarrigle worked on as a production assistant.
The drag icon denied the claims in a strongly worded statement, and the Los Angeles Times noted that a previous investigation turned up little evidence to support the claims.
But McGarrigle's suit, which named both Pierce and production company Buckingham Television, painted a detailed picture of the alleged assault, and several people confirmed that the purported victim spoke with them about it before he reported the allegations officially.
The LA Times detailed at the time the suit was filed that McGarrigle claimed Shangela "raped McGarrigle in a Louisiana hotel room following a 2020 crew party" at which McGarrigle became drunk. The suit alleged that Shangela gave McGarrigle water after he became ill, and "suggested he [McGarrigle] spend the night with him in his room," the LA Times report detailed. But, the report went on to say, after McGarrigle went to sleep without even removing his shoes, he later woke up "with his pants pulled down and with Pierce attempting to penetrate him."
"According to the suit," the LA Times relayed, "McGarrigle screamed 'No' and tried to fight off Pierce but was overpowered, with Pierce allegedly telling McGarrigle, 'I know you want it, and you're going to take it.'"
The suit claimed that McGarrigle didn't report the alleged assault out of fear for his job, but he eventually quit after continuing to receive unwanted attention from Pierce.
After leaving the show, McGarrigle contacted "We're Here" co-creators Steven Warren and Johnnie Ingram to tell them what had happened, the LA Times article said. In a a message McGarrigle purportedly sent to Ingram, he expressed fear that the story could be used by anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives to "hurt... a show that is making a difference in my own LGBTQIA+ community."
At the time of the suit's filing, Pierce "slammed the 'meritless' lawsuit and accused it of promoting 'damaging stereotypes that are harmful not only to me but also to my entire community,'" Radar Online reported.
HBO has plans for a fourth season of "We're Here," but has recast the show with a new trio of drag artists: Priyanka, Sasha Velour, and Jaida Essence Hall.
Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.