'Drag Race' Star Mimi Imfurst Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Wednesday July 15, 2020

A Philadelphia-based event producer for drag shows accused "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Mimi Imfurst (a.k.a Braden Chapman) of sexual misconduct, which the performer denies.

Taking to Facebook last week, Jimmy Boone wrote that he was on the set for Mimi's music video for "Where the Party's At" and said she "proceeded to fondle my genitals through my bathing suit and held on until she was able to feel every part she wanted to."

"While she did this, she very flirtatiously asked '...and who are you?' " he added.

In the summer of 2014, Boone and his boyfriend Joseph Cassise III signed up to be unpaid extras in the video being filmed at a house in Cherry Hill, N.J. He wrote on Facebook that "the gig was for us to be guys in our bathing suits around the pool." Shortly before the event was to begin, Mimi allegedly accosted Boone.

See Boone's post in full below.

In an exclusive interview with Instinct Magazine, Boone said that he came forward because his wasn't an isolated event.

"It is honestly something that I wanted to do ever since I got wind that what happened to me was not actually a one time incident. Her grabbing people's crotches and grabbing genitalia used to be a part of Philly Drag Wars, so it almost was like an accepted part of the culture," he said.

Asked by Instinct, Mimi said Bonne's "allegations are 100% false."

Boone said that he and Cassise, who performs as Atala Vistar, were so busy with their booking company for drag queens,Drag Queen Entertainment, that he never took time to reflect on the incident. But after the lockdown this spring, he found the time to revisit the event and its implications. He also admits guilt for not coming forward earlier.

"At the end of the day whether it's drag or otherwise, it's not right. I always felt kind of guilty; several years ago Mimi had online sexual conversations with people and the conversations were inappropriate and she was abusing her power," Boone told Instinct. "I felt guilty that I did not speak up and say anything, and that was in the back of my head."

Since the event, Boone said he was in contact with Mimi for drag-related events, but the last time was in October 2018

"That was also when I confronted her about touching me and she left me on 'read' in the message," he said. "In March of 2019, I had reached out to her again because she had added a bunch of queens to her Punchline roster and they were a bunch of queens that I was already working with at my new brunch. She had told the queens that were working for her that they could not work with me, but I did not bring up anything about her touching me at that point.

"She just addressed the questions on the queens at that point and nothing else," he added.

Asked if he wanted an apology, Boone said he didn't.

"I have already moved past it in that sense," he said. "I don't wish harm on her or wish her to lose jobs, but she has proven that when she is in a position of power, that power is abused. I don't think she should be in any position of power. Unfortunately, what she is doing and the events with Live Nation put her in a position of power."

This isn't the first instance of Mimi being accused of inappropriate behavior. In October, 2017, Philadelphia-based performer Eric Groff, (known as Turnpyke) made a friends-only Facebook post where he asked if there was a "Harvey Weinstein in your town or neighborhood?"

Two of the performers who responded to Groff's post, Kyle Ayotte and Ethan Hunter Raysor, gave accounts to Philadelphia Magazine about "Chapman's unwanted and repeated sexual advances toward them over instant messaging."

Ayotte and Raysor came forward "because they know others who have faced similar experiences and will not speak openly about it for fear that they could be 'blacklisted from the community.' They also want to 'dispel stereotypes of sexual harassment in the LGBTQ community,' " wrote Philadelphia Magazine.

Asked by the magazine, Mimi issued a statement where she acknowledged she had "ongoing late-night sexual conversations that involved in-depth and often exaggerated cyber role play that although was welcomed by some has made others uncomfortable and used. For that I am incredibly sorry. I thought that our conversation, which included sexual and nonsexual discussions, was consensual..."

"I deeply regret that due to my nature as a public person, they felt pressured or obligated to partake in these conversations, one of which lasted over two years back and forth. I wish I had known more clearly that they did not want to participate in the conversations," Mimi said at the time. "If I would have known that, I would have stopped."