James Charles has over 14 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, but it seems fellow makeup vlogger Tati Westbrook may no longer be one of them. Westbrook, who has nearly six million YouTube subscribers herself, took to the platform on Friday to post a 43-minute video expressing her disappointment in Charles over not only a business betrayal but also some behavior in his personal life — disappointment that's strong enough to effectively end what had been a very meaningful friendship.
Westbrook starts out the video, titled "BYE SISTER," with old clips of herself complimenting, promoting, and bonding with Charles, but the vibe switches when Westbrook starts telling viewers that "this is absolutely not a video I ever thought in a million years that I'd be making." She goes on to explain what's been going on, starting with something Charles did that "completely blindsided" and "gutted" her: She says he was paid to do an Instagram ad for SugarBearHair, the top competitor of Westbrook's own supplement brand, Halo Beauty.
Westbrook claims that Charles, who she says she has championed throughout his meteoric rise in the beauty-vlogger community starting at age 17, gave her no warning that this was coming and that they had previously had "plenty of in-person conversations that were at length about other influencers doing the same deal, and him not liking SugarBearHair and dragging the other people, and him being like, 'Tati, I'm on your side,'" she says. Instead, Westbrook says, he texted her after the sponsored post was already live, saying, she recalls, "Hey, Mom, love you, I'm stressed. Just so you know...I just did this post, but it's no big."
She goes on to say that she had noticed "immature" behavior from him before but that she loyally supported him and gave him guidance out of a mentor-like love for him. However, after this recent sponsored post, Westbrook felt that she had to tell her audience about not just that perceived betrayal but also other conduct she can't let slide anymore.
"There's so much going on with James Charles right now that I do not support, that I do not agree with," Westbrook says, blaming fame and money for his decisions. She then speaks directly to Charles through the camera, saying, "I don't think there's any getting through to you, and I don't want to be friends with you, I don't want to be associated with you, and I need to say that very publicly so that this chapter can just be closed."
After giving examples and showing footage of how she has helped Charles along the way, Westbrook starts discussing a non-beauty-related incident that she says, "made me want to vomit." According to Westbrook, Charles told her during a phone call that he "tried to trick a straight man into thinking he's gay." She talks about how she's "disgusted" that he would try to "manipulate someone's sexuality," saying that Charles has been using "fame, your power, your money to play with people's emotions," and, she says, "threatening to ruin them, threatening to embarrass them...and doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor."
"I don't know what's going to happen next," Westbrook says toward the end of the video. But what happened next was a response from Charles, also posted on YouTube. In a makeup-free video, Charles says he owes everyone an explanation and Westbrook and her husband an apology. "I'm sorry for everything that is going on and everything I have put you through over the past few weeks." He tells his audience that the couple has given him "so much" over the last three years from love and advice to a place to stay and a shoulder to cry on. In the increasingly emotional eight-minute post, he says, "I'm so disappointed in myself, that I hurt her."
At this point, neither Westbrook nor Charles has posted any additional content, whether about each other or returning to the beauty business as usual. But their audiences are surely eagerly awaiting their next moves.
Twitter is certainly taking creative angles interpreting all this info:
There's even a dedicated account called @jamesdramanews (which currently has a little over 7,000 followers):
More on beauty vloggers:
- Jaclyn Hill Says She May Quit YouTube Over "Extreme" Criticism
- YouTuber Reveals She Removed Her Breast Implants After Suffering Years of Scary Side Effects
- Olivia Jade Just Got Dropped By Another Beauty Brand
Now check out one YouTuber's routine for glowing skin:
Originally Appeared on Allure