Sister Scandal Story


Grace Daniel

James Charles managed to sister snatch his reputation back into his own hands with a 41 minute response video including evidence to retaliate against Tati Westbrook’s many accusations (Photo courtesy of Grace Daniel).

Not too long ago, James Charles was regarded as one of the most impressive beauty influencers and successful young people of this generation. From his millions of Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, and international fans, James Charles had quickly become one of the most popular celebrities in the world. However, James Charles’s seemingly indestructible empire came crashing down in just 43 minutes. How could one of the most extraordinary success stories come to such a rapid conclusion?

While he was just beginning to gain followers on Instagram, James Charles reached out to a well-known beauty influencer for support and advice. Known for her beauty knowledge and reviews, Tati Westbrook nearly immediately agreed to help James through promotions, advice, management, and support. She became his personal mentor and second mom.

James Charles has always been no stranger to scandals. Even before becoming a face in the beauty community, James Charles had a history of getting involved in issues that tainted his reputation. For instance, James Charles tweeted out his apparent travel worries, stating “I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?” Thousands of Twitter users responded with more extreme backlash than James had ever experienced before. Not only had he offensively stereotyped an entire continent, but he responded by simply ignoring the issue and attempting to block those who were angry about his post.

Not only has James posted some insensitive material on social media, but he has also acted inappropriately towards multiple people face to face, bringing him more accusations. One of the most serious things that followers have criticized James of is his interactions with straight men. James Charles, who is openly gay, repeatedly makes sexual comments online and face to face with straight men. For example, James inappropriately commented on popular artist Shawn Mendes’s Instagram live video just moments before Mendes abruptly ended the video. James also singled out actor and hairstylist Jeff Wittek in a video despite being in a large group of nine people; Wittek was visibly uncomfortable as the video progressed and then again when he and James filmed a second video with just the two of them. Many of James’s fellow celebrities, one of the most prominent examples being Grayson and Ethan Dolan, have also endured the inappropriate comments for years. While James Charles constantly reassures his fans that his comments are a joke, many believe his jokes cross the line.

Grace Daniel
In just 43 minutes, beauty influencer and mentor Tati Westbrook managed to bring James Charles’ successful career to a rapid halt (Photo courtesy of Grace Daniel).

Tati Westbrook, who began supporting James Charles in the very beginning, couldn’t handle his mistakes any longer. As his mentor, Westbrook and her husband helped James Charles with issues involving his business and personal life, which often included telling him what not to do. Westbrook claims she constantly urged James to stop making sexual comments, but he still took his comments too far. In her video titled “BYE SISTER…”, which reached over 22 million views in two weeks before she deleted it, she even claims he went as far as trying to force a straight man into a relationship with him. Other influencers have responded to it, calling James slanderous and a con-artist.

As James Charles has a history of major scandals, Tati Westbrook finally reached her breaking point and decided to cut all ties with James after his brand deal with the company Sugar Bear Hair. Westbrook owns a supplement brand called Halo Beauty, to which Sugar Bear Hair is a major competitor. James had always supported Halo over Sugar Bear because of Tati, but he planned a brand deal with Sugar Bear Hair during the music festival Coachella. James Charles posted an Instagram story promoting Sugar Bear Hair, to which Tati Westbrook responded on her own Instagram story saying she felt betrayed and lost in the beauty community; fans were quick to connect her emotional message to James’s advertisement. Westbrook goes into detail in her video where she explains that, in her opinion, James is hypocritical, immature, materialistic, unloyal, manipulative, and toxic. She later released a second video titled “Why I Did It…” in which she asks all the hate towards James Charles to stop, despite completely bashing him just days before.

After the long video outing countless mistakes that James Charles had made recently, James first released an eight and a half minute video titled “tati” in which he apologizes to her. Viewers’ responses to the video made it clear that eight emotional minutes could not make up for 43 minutes of accusations; James lost over three million subscribers at a record-breaking speed. Just when viewers thought James was going to let the fate of his career rest on one short, exaggerated video, James Charles released a more professional video titled “No More Lies” explaining his side of the story, turning his subscriber count around completely; he is already gained back two million subscribers and is gaining fans faster than before.

In his video, James defended himself, saying his deal with Sugar Bear Hair was a last minute decision and he needed Sugar Bear Hair’s security at Coachella. He got exclusive tickets from the company the day before he attended because he remembered his friend and beauty influencer Nikita Dragun had scored tickets from the generous brand, allowing the security measures he required. While asking Westbrook’s competitor for tickets may have been a foolish move, James still managed to prove Westbrook wrong.

Tati Westbrook claimed that the brand deal had to have been discussed long before Coachella and that James has more than enough money to pay his own way to a music festival and take necessary security measures, however, the tickets he was trying to get could only be acquired through a sponsorship. James also showed countless screenshots of text message conversations that proved his innocence. He also publicly apologized and privately texted her and her husband almost immediately when he realized he offended Westbrook, so her claims that he didn’t reach out and try to fix the situation promptly were inaccurate.

Furthermore, one of the most upsetting accusations in Tati Westbrook’s video was that James Charles supposedly tried to force a straight man into doing things with James that went against the man’s sexual orientation. Millions of fans were horrified to learn that their role-model would do something so disgusting. However, James Charles told the true side of the story, complete with screenshots for proof, which validated that James never forced Sam, an employee from a restaurant James Charles and Tati Westbrook visited together, to do anything without clear prior consent. James was very upset and angry in his video that someone so close to him would twist such unimportant stories to make James Charles’s character out to be something so far from the truth.

Just before Tati Westbrook’s video was posted, James Charles had about sixteen and a half million subscribers and Westbrook had almost six million. After both “BYE SISTER…” and “tati” were posted, James was reaching less than thirteen and a half million subscribers while Westbrook was rapidly approaching ten million. James was losing support at almost the exact same rate as Westbrook was gaining it. After his 41 minute explanation video, “No More Lies”, James has once again surpassed 15 million as his subscriber count continues to climb. Tati Westbrook’s instant increase in subscribers has significantly slowed as her video has proven to be dramatized and mostly false, ultimately leading to her removal of the initial video.

To James Charles’s relief, he managed to save his reputation. It took years of hard work and dedication for James Charles to reach the success that he finally achieved, but it all came crashing down in a matter of minutes. Although celebrities’ statuses seem like they are set in stone, James proved that one simple mistake can ruin their entire career. It just took a few wrong moves and a couple avoided apologies to drag James from approaching seventeen million supporters to less than fourteen million. Many of the scandals could have blown over with a few simple apologies and better communication with the parties involved, and James Charles has shown the world how fragile fame and fortune are.

With the world watching this nearly career-ending scandal unfold, we can only wonder: who will be next, and will they be able to pull enough evidence together to save their career as James Charles so brilliantly did?