Jeffree Star and Kat Von D in 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)
Since YouTuber Stephanie Nicole exposed Jeffree Star’s controversial past interactions with fans, as well as the racist remarks he has made, it seems that the larger community of online makeup junkies has been telling its own experiences and unsavory memories of the makeup maven.
On Tuesday, his former friend Kat Von D took to Instagram to formally announce that she and her brand were cutting off all ties with Star. Von D later uploaded a video to YouTube explaining her decision to disassociate herself from him, saying that Star has bullied other smaller makeup brands. But the big takeaway from the video is Von D’s claim that Star failed to pay graphic designer BJ Betts, who created the logo for his makeup line.
“I introduced Jeffree to BJ, and then BJ drew up his logos and then Jeffree went forward with them. … It’s the logos that you guys see now on all the caps of all of his lipsticks, and then never, never paid BJ,” Von D said in the video that has been viewed more than 3 million times. “BJ would call him and basically Jeffree blocked his phone.” Von D claimed that once she heard from BJ about Star’s failure to pay up, she texted him around Saturday asking why he hadn’t paid BJ his due. “He basically told me to f*** off … and then blocked my number.” Von D showed images of mockups of Star’s logo and read a correspondence from BJ explaining the design.
Von D also talked about the early days of Star’s makeup line, saying she encouraged him to start his own brand and claiming she hooked him up with connections to get his company up and running.
In response, Star tweeted, “There is no beef with BJ. We worked together in 2014 on an idea and someone else took over. Everyone’s been paid. Lawsuit?? I created my brand in 2014. The truth is not in her video.” Von D then replied, “Jeffree. Please, do yourself a favor and stop lying. BJ texted me that you reached out w a settlement proposal an hour after I posted video.” Betts later confirmed that he received payment from Star (though he didn’t note when he was paid) and since the issue had been “amicably resolved,” he’ll have no further comments on the matter.
On Wednesday night, Star posted a more in-depth defense with a 23-minute YouTube video. In it, he shows text messages between himself and Von D, noting the text in which she inquires about BJ’s payment. Star responded to her text saying, “He never did artwork for me, and we passed on using him.”
This may be a little confusing to viewers, considering Star had just said on Twitter that Betts had been paid for his work. “What I mean by that is, is that he did start an idea, but he did not design my entire packaging,” Star explained. “At the time … I wanted him to design my whole packaging for my liquid lip, and BJ started drawing a logo. He asked, ‘Do I want him to design my entire packaging?’ and I said, ‘Hey, let’s start with the logo and see what happens,’ so that screenshot that Kat held up is about like, 20 logos that he had sketched up.”
Star claimed he backed away from working with Betts because his rate was too high and Star had already spent his last dollars investing in his own brand. He also said he used a star logo for his now-defunct clothing line with another graphic designer. Star admitted the current logo for his makeup brand does look very similar to Betts’s mockup, but he maintained he did not steal the idea.
Star also mentioned in the video that he and Betts were working out payment. “My current manager and lawyer were already talking to his manager and lawyer, and we’re working something out because, long story short, now that my brand is successful, I wanted to take care of somebody who has worked for hire and that had helped me in the beginning and inspired something.”
Whatever you think of the matter, you’ve got to admit that a lot of piping-hot tea has been spilled this week. And we’ve come ready with the crumpets to drink it all up.