YouTuber James Charles has not had a good week. He has lost two million subscribers on his beauty channel and has been accused of using his fame to sexually manipulate straight men. Yesterday, Charles released a video refuting the claims made by fellow YouTube star Tati Westbrook and others regarding his conduct in a nearly 42-minute video titled No More Lies.
Charles, 19, described the last week as “the darkest time in my life." In the video, in which he wears no makeup, the cosmetics guru tries to mend fences with Westbrook and alludes to his fragile mental state, saying, “My thoughts got to a really scary place." He also posts numbers for a Sexual Assault Hotline and a Suicide Hotline.
In response to the claims that he had betrayed Westbrook by promoting SugarBearHair, a competitor of her brand Halo Beauty, he says he innocently did it for passes and access at Coachella. He also denies sexually manipulating straight men, a charge that still seems a bit vague. "I would never, have never and will never use my fame, money or power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy," he says, adding that he’s a virgin who doesn’t get “a lot of action."
Charles also provided some proof that the exchanges he had with a waiter in Seattle, who was reportedly exploring his sexuality when he met the makeup artist, were completely consensual. He showed screenshots of Instagram conversations he had with the waiter in which they agreed to meet at his hotel room to simply hang out.
The YouTuber expressed concern that in society people were now considered “guilty until proven innocent” rather than the other way around. He also stated he had no intention of starting a war, but simply wanted to take responsibility and share his side of the story. He added that he was now planning on moving on.
On Thursday, Westbrook released a video in which she asked followers to “stop the hate” after Charles was inundated with abusive messages from social media users. Despite her call for civility, Westbrook says she stands by her claims. Meanwhile, Charles says that he’s taking a break from YouTube to work on his mental health as well as spend time with his family.