RuPaul’s Drag Race queen Sherry Pie, who appears in the current season of the popular show, has been disqualified from the competition, after five men accused the performer of catfishing them by posing as a casting director.

The VH1 network and production company World Of Wonder confirmed the news to Buzzfeed in a statement, saying:

“In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Out of respect for the hard work of the other queens, VH1 will air the season as planned. Sherry will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring.”

Sherry Pie, real name Joey Gugliemelli, is alleged to have deceived former classmates at SUNY Cortland in New York, and actors at a theatre company in Nebraska, by posing as a female casting director named Allison Mossie.

In doing so, he is said to have encouraged the men to do degrading things on camera – one said he was asked to sniff his armpits while trying out for a role as a bodybuilder, and another says he was asked to masturbate on camera.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Gugliemelli addressed the accusations and apologised for the “trauma and pain” he caused. He said he was “horribly embarrassed and disgusted” with himself for his “cruel” actions and is seeking help.

He also apologised to his fellow Season 12 queens and the Drag Race production company.

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Sherry Pie is set to debut on Drag Race in part two of the two-part Season 12 premiere, which airs later today. It is unclear how far she makes it in the competition, but it is typical for all queens to appear in the finale, regardless of their placement.

Image: Getty Images / Santiago Felipe