YouTube star James Charles has denied ‘false’ allegations he ‘groomed’ a 16-year-old fan, after he was accused of sending sexually explicit messages to the teenager.
The 21-year-old makeup guru – who counts the Kardashian-Jenner sisters among his army of celebrity friends – took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to shoot down the accusations as rumours swirled relentlessly online.
Posting a lengthy statement, the social media sensation insisted he immediately asked the person in question’s age and was assured he was 18, only to finally learn he was just 16 – leading him to promptly sever all contact.
Denied: YouTube star James Charles has denied ‘false’ allegations he ‘groomed’ a 16-year-old fan, after he was accused of sending sexually explicit messages to the teenager
He wrote: ‘There’s a video going around about me on TikTok and Twitter of a guy calling me a groomer and I want to address it right away. The accusation that I have groomed this person is completely false.
‘Last week, I came across someone on my Instagram explore page, saw he followed me, and added him on snapchat.
‘The next morning, I woke up to several snaps from this person being excited I added him back, saying he loved me, and also lewd photos of him in the shower. I asked how old he was right away and he told me he was 18 so I started flirting back.’
James, who currently boasts almost 26 million YouTube subscribers, continued: ‘In the excitement of meeting someone I thought could be potentially great, I didn’t ask for a copy of his ID or passport.
Speaking out: The 21-year-old makeup guru took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to shoot down the accusations as rumours swirled relentlessly online
‘It’s now clear, based on the video he uploaded, he was taking photos of me with another device, and had an ulterior motive from the beginning.
‘Later in the day, he said a few things that made me question the validity of his original age answer and when I asked him to confirm his age once again, he admitted he was 16.
‘I told him I was really uncomfortable and apologised for flirting, but he insisted on continuing talking, saying it could be our little secret, he’s a fan of mine and would never tell anyone.
‘I told him I wasn’t okay with this, he started getting upset, and at this point, I unfriended him. We haven’t spoken since. I’m not victim blaming him or victimising myself either, simply sharing what happened, and what happened was not okay.
‘After false allegations like this in the past, I would never knowingly engage with anyone underage and put my life on the line for a few snapchats.’
Telling all: James insisted he immediately asked the person in question’s age and was assured he was 18, only to finally learn he was just 16 – leading him to promptly sever all contact
He concluded: ‘Because of situations like this, instead of taking someone’s word for it, I will now ask to see the ID or passport of every guy I have a conversation with.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for James Charles for further comment.
Back in 2009, a then-19-year-old James lost millions of subscribers – including several celebrities – in just days, after his bitter feud with fellow makeup artist Tati Westbrook was made public.
His career weathered a storm after his former mentor criticised him in a 43-minute video in which she listed the reasons she decided to end their years-long friendship.
After James chose to promote another makeup company over hers, Tati, 39, accused him making advances on men he knew to be straight, manipulating others’ sexuality, and speaking crassly about sex in front of her friends and family.
Celebrity friends: The social media sensation counts Kylie Jenner among his celebrity friends
One year later, Tati would release a tear-filled apology, admitting that she put out the false rumours about her former friend’s private life after being fed ‘poisonous lies’ by fellow YouTubers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson.
Tati in her 40-minute apology video: ‘Believing those lies and letting myself be gaslit into making that video is one of the biggest regrets of my life.
‘The information they were giving me was terrifying. I was told there were a lot of victims that were going to come forward.’
While Tati alluded to the fact that her feud with James was over, Shane took to Instagram Live while viewing Tati’s apology and branded her a ‘liar’.
James and Tati had enjoyed a years-long friendship, with Tati driving traffic toward James’ pages and praising him in videos.
Feud: Back in 2009, James lost millions of subscribers – including several celebrities – in just days, after his bitter feud with fellow makeup artist Tati Westbrook (pictured) was made public
But their feud began when James attended the Coachella music festival in April 2019 and promoted Sugar Bear Hair vitamins on his Instagram Story.
The company – which promises to strengthen and add shine to hair – is in direct competition with Tati’s supplements, Halo Beauty, a brand James said previously wasn’t the right fit for his young followers.
Tati, who helped bolster and grow James’ career, was left frustrated and posted videos in her own Instagram Stories about feeling ‘betrayed.’
‘When you do so much for people in your life and they not only don’t return the favour, but they just don’t even see you … I’m just so upset. I feel really used,’ she said through tears, but didn’t mention James by name.
Sorry: One year later, Tati would release a teary apology, admitting that she put out the false rumours about her former friend’s private life after being fed ‘poisonous lies’. Pictured in 2019
Yet James guessed that the anonymous ‘betrayal’ she referred to was his own, and released a statement on his own Stories.
‘I want to publicly apologise to my close friend Tati,’ he said. ‘She has been like a mother to me since my first days in this industry and has given me more love, support, resources, and advice than I could ever ask for.
‘This weekend I did an Instagram Story for vitamins that I’ve been taking because the brand helped me with security when the crowd around me at Coachella became unsafe. I did not accept any money from this post.’
Whether it was paid or not, beauty bloggers like Gabriel Zamora jumped to James’ defence, saying that Tati had no right to be angry over the vitamins.
This is ultimately what led Tati, who goes by @GlamLifeGuru, to release a lengthy video entitled ‘Bye Sister’ in May 2019 – the damning tirade that sparked a huge follower loss for her former protégé.
Celebs leaving: Kim Kardashian appeared on James’ channel with her makeup artist Mario