Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

James Charles accused of ‘manipulating people’s sexuality’ by former friend and mentor Tati Westbrook

The 19-year-old make-up vlogger has been accused of "problematic behaviour" following a public row about vitamin supplements.

By Will Stroude

YouTube star James Charles has lost over two million followers on social media after being publicly slammed by fellow beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook in a row over vitamin supplements.

Charles, a make-up and beauty expert who in 2016 made history as CoverGirl’s first male ambassador, was accused by former friend and mentor Westbrook of “problematic behaviour”, including “manipulating people’s sexuality” in a 43-minute ‘take down’ video published on Friday (10 May). 

The pair had fallen out last month after Westbrook, 37, accused Charles of promoting a rival vitamin supplement on Instagram rather than her own.

In her video, Westbrook accused Charles, 19, of using his fame and money to “threatening to ruin” and “embarass” men in order to get them to “behave sexually in your favour”.

“You tried to trick a straight man into thinking he’s gay – yet again – and somehow you’re the victim,” Westbrook said.

“It’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality, especially when they are still emerging into adulthood and don’t quite have everything figured out.”

The cosmetics expert continued: “You are using you fame, power and money to play with people’s emotions.

“You’re threatening to ruin them and embarrass them, and you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favour even if they’re straight?

“That behaviour is not okay if you’re a woman a man, gay, straight, bi, whatever sexual orientation you are, that is your personal call and it is not someone else’s to take, not someone else’s to play with.”

After the video was published, Swedish dinger Zara Larsson took to Twitter to accuse Charles of sneding private messages to her boyfriend, model and former Attitude cover star Brian Whittaker.

“I’m cackling cause he [Charles] hit up my boyfriend in the DMs several times knowing damn well he’s straight,” Larsson wrote.

By Monday morning, Charles had seen his subscriber count drop from 16.5 million to 14.5 million, making him the first YouTve to lose over 1 million subscribers ina  24-hour period.

The drop came despite a video published by Charles on Friday (10 May) in which the YouTube publicly apologised to Westbrook for “everything that I put you through”.

“A lot of the time when I’ve had to address things in the past, I’ve acted out of impulse and I’ve gone off and tried to pull receipts or facts or screenshots and play the victim,” he said.

“I’m not doing that today, I’m not. That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.”

He added: “I’ve been involved in a lot of very unique situations that have left people confused or upset.

“I have learned the hard way about boys that I am interested in, and also ones that I should or shouldn’t be talking to.

“This is a conversation I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with and it’s something that I should have been far more careful with bringing into the public, especially with the last situation.”