YouTuber Tati Westbrook Is Accused of Fraud in Lawsuit Filed By Her Business Partner

Cydney Contreras
·5 min read

Tati Westbrook can't seem to escape the drama.

According to court documents obtained by E! News, the YouTube star and her husband, James Westbrook, are being sued by former business partner Clark Swanson for breach of contract, gross negligence and fraudulent inducement as it relates to Tati's vitamin line, Halo Beauty.

The lawsuit states that Swanson agreed to owning 50 percent of the nutritional supplements company with Tati and James owning the other half. However, Swanson alleges that just prior to officially launching Halo Beauty in 2018, James and Tati came to him with an offer: "give them two-thirds of the business and, in exchange, the Westbrooks would commit to use Halo Beauty as Ms. Westbrook's umbrella brand for all her beauty launches—cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, all of Tati Westbrook's beauty products. Mr. Swanson agreed to these terms."

Swanson further alleges that Tati promised her star power would result in sales, describing how, "Ms. Westbrook claimed that the product did not matter, she could still sell a 's--t product' to her loyal followers."

James Charles vs. Tati Westbrook: A Complete Timeline of the Drama

Additionally, Swanson claims that Tati assured him that fellow YouTube personalities like Jeffree Star, Manny Mua, James Charles and Laura Lee would endorse the product, claiming they turned down lucrative advertising deals with rival competitor Sugar Bear Hair out of loyalty to her.

The documents note that her promises of endorsements soured in 2019. "Ms. Westbrook's claim to influence was undercut when James Charles endorsed Sugar Bear Hair in an April 22, 2019 'swipe up' Instagram story," the court documents read. "On May 10, 2019, Ms. Westbrook posted a video 'Bye Sister,' accusing Mr. Charles of inappropriate sexual conduct.

"Oh my god, you tried to trick a straight man into thinking he's gay, yet again," Tati alleged at the time. "And somehow, you're the victim. It's really disgusting to manipulate someone's sexuality especially when they're emerging into adulthood and don't quite have everything figured out. You are using your fame, your power, your money to play with people's emotions. You're threatening to ruin them, you're threatening to embarrass them, and you're doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor, even if they're straight, and you know what? That's not okay."

James Charles, Tati Westbrook
James Charles, Tati Westbrook

In a response video, James broke his silence on Tati's accusations, saying, "I am a 19-year-old virgin," James said in the video. "I really don't get a lot of action. I have never and would never and will never use my fame, money, or power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting."

Following James' comments, Tati took to Twitter to share she wanted the drama to be done with. "I have been in contact with James Charles through an intermediary over the last week, and we believe that it is the best interest of our community, our viewers and our own mental health to put this matter to a rest," she wrote.

Tati Westbrook
Tati Westbrook

Swanson also details his meetings with makeup manufacturers and others in the cosmetics industry, but claims James and Tati "actively interfered with Mr. Swanson's efforts to grow Halo Beauty."

According to the lawsuit, the influencer went behind Swanson's back to launch a separate beauty brand in 2019 under her own name, selling re-usable beauty blenders and an eyeshadow palette manufactured by Seed Beauty. Furthermore, Swanson alleges that the Westbrooks began to plan the launch of additional products for Tati Beauty, including perfumes and other makeup items, without his knowledge.

In an alleged March email, Swanson warned James, "Tati Fragrance is a product line that we contemplated when we formed Halo and again when I gave you and Tati the controlling interest in the business. Even if you are right that Tati Fragrance could be good for Halo, there is no way it is better for Halo than having Halo own and operate the Fragrance piece of the business. As an officer/member/owner of Halo, I don't think that any of us can in good faith claim that any other course of action would be in the best interests of Halo. Please reconsider in light of Tati and your obligations to Halo."

Swanson has requested to take Tati and James to trial and is seeking damages.

Tati has yet to publicly address the claims made in the lawsuit. However, her lawyer Douglas Fuchs issued a statement to E! News.

"Clark Swanson's lawsuit is meritless... his absurd claim that Tati Westbrook granted him one-third of her name, image and likeness for all time in exchange for a modest initial capital contribution. Swanson's claim is not only baseless, it is offensive and defies common sense," Fuchs stated. "This is particularly true given that Swanson has received millions in profit distributions from Halo Beauty, almost exclusively due to the Westbrooks' efforts. Tati and James will vigorously defend this lawsuit and are confident that the truth will come out and they will prevail."

The YouTuber has not posted any videos on her channel in four months, having stated that she was taking a break from the spotlight.

In her last post, which she uploaded in June 2020, Tati addressed her feud with James Charles, alleging that fellow YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star "manipulated" her into expressing her opinions that were critical of Charles, among other claims. She claimed that this was the reason she created the "Bye Sister" video, not because of his partnership with Sugar Bear Hair.