James Charles' Biggest Scandals: How He Lost Millions of YouTube Subscribers

The YouTuber is in the midst of some intense drama.

James Charles' drama is heating up.

The 19-year-old YouTube star is in the midst of a serious feud with his fellow vlogger, Tati Westbrook. The drama reached its boiling point last week when Westbrook released a video detailing why she was ending her years-long friendship with the star, claiming he had spread lies about her.

Though Westbrook's video kicked things into high gear, the pair have reportedly been on the outs for weeks, since Charles seemed to shade Westbrook at Coachella late last month. Keep reading for a breakdown of Charles' current drama.

Charles' Sugar Bear Hair Post

While at the music festival, Charles did a video in promotion of Sugar Bear Hair, a direct competitor of Westbrook's brand, Halo Beauty.

Westbrook was offended by Charles' sponsorship, saying in her Instagram Story, "Everybody says what they need to say and uses who they need to use, and I have had about enough. It's not right."

Charles issued an apology to his Story, claiming he was not paid for the post and calling the whole thing "a major oversight."

"She has been like a mother to me since my first days in the industry and has given me more love, support, resources, and advice than I could ever ask for," he wrote in part. "... I've supported Tati both online and off like she has done for me and am devastated that I hurt someone that I truly love and have endless respect for."

Westbrook's Shocking Video

Following Charles' apology, Westbrook debuted her 43-minute video ending their relationship. In the video, she questioned why he was hesitant to promote her brand online, but had no problem doing so for Sugar Bear Hair. She also lamented feeling "used" by Charles, revealing that she and her husband had mentored, coordinated deals for and supported him in the past.

Additionally, Westbrook said she wanted to stop having to defend Charles for both his comments about other vloggers and those about wanting to hook up with straight men regardless of their own sexual orientation.

"Oh my god! You tried tricking a straight man into thinking he's gay yet again, and somehow you're the victim," she said of Charles' Coachella drama with model Gage Gomez, where he called Gomez "a disgusting con artist" and Gomez said Charles was "slanderous." 

"You know, it's really disgusting to manipulate someone's sexuality, especially when they are still emerging into adulthood and don't have everything quite figured out," Westbrook continued. "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 OK."

She also noted that Charles' alleged lies about her were the final straw in their friendship.

"For you to lie to me and make me the villain, and go around and circulate a story to work on your side saying I'm loving the drama because it's improving sales, that's not the case," she said. "You're my family, I love you still... This is not about money at all."

Charles' Apology Video

Following the Coachella fallout, Charles released an apology video, where he discussed both the Westbrook and Gomez scandals. 

"I hate knowing that I disappointed not only [my fans], but two people that have been role models for me doing this... What sucks the most is that I know there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back but I don’t blame them for it," he said. "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 and I’m not doing that today, I’m not. That is all I have to say, I’m sorry."

As for Gomez and other "boy situations," Charles said he wishes he had never discussed that particular aspect of his life online.

"I've been involved with a lot of very unique and strange situations that have left people confused or upset. And I've learned the hard way about ways that I can interact with boys that I'm interested in and also ones that I should or shouldn't be talking to," he said. "This is a conversation that I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with and it's something I should've been far more careful with bringing into the public eye."

Jeffree Star's Response

In a since-deleted tweet, the 33-year-old beauty mogul took to Twitter to call out Charles. 

"There is a reason that Nathan banned James Charles from ever coming over to our home again," Star tweeted of his boyfriend, Nathan Schwandt. "There's a reason why I haven't seen him since [Westbrook's] birthday in February. He is a danger to society. Everything Tati said is 100% true."

Following his tweet, some Twitter users pointed out that, while Star said he hadn't been seen with Charles since February, he had a Twitter exchange with the 19-year-old YouTube star back in April. Those tweets have since been deleted.

Star has repeatedly celebrated Westbrook's online growth -- her subscriber count is now at over nine million -- calling her "one of a kind."

Other Celebrity and Fan Reactions

Charles has since lost nearly three million subscribers, including some of his celebrity friends, while Westbrook has gained even more.

According to Newsweek, those who have unfollowed Charles since Friday include Miley Cyrus, Kylie Jenner, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Tana Mongeau and Shawn Mendes. In a November interview with ET, Charles counted Lovato as his dream collaborator.

"When she is OK and back in her game, I would die to do a video with her," he said of the singer. "She's, like, my favorite person in the entire world."

Met Gala

Prior to Westbrook's video and his response, Charles came under fire for a totally unrelated reason. In an Instagram post, Charles gushed about his invitation to the Met Gala being "a step forward in the right direction for influencer representation in the media."

That comment didn't sit right with many people, who took to social media to fight back against his characterization of influencers as a marginalized group.

In an Instagram Story following the post, Charles said that he expected the backlash about his Met Gala experience.

"I knew this was going to happen though… Anytime anything like this ever happens, with an influencer doing something new, people tend to be very up in arms about it, but I can see why," he said. "But regardless, it was a such a huge honor and I had so much fun being there. I met so many amazing people and nothing is going to take away my amazing time that I had."

What's Next?

Questions still remain for Charles, largely how other YouTube stars including the Dolan Twins, Emma Chamberlain and Shane Dawson will respond to the drama.

Additionally, Charles' partnership with Morphe, with whom he has a makeup palette, is potentially up in the air, as the brand has a track record of cutting ties with talent amid drama.

Charles' tour is of concern too, especially after it already caused controversy for high ticket prices. 

Watch the video below for more on the drama.



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