The James Charles-Tati Westbrook spat continues to rumble on.
Back in May, the two makeup influencers, who together have millions of online followers, had a very public falling out. Westbrook, 37, posted a 43-minute video in which she laid into her former protégé.
The video was prompted by Charles choosing to promote a rival hair vitamin brand to the one owned by Westbrook.
Westbrook accused Charles of being disloyal, ego-driven, and using her to further his ambitions. More controversially, she accused the then 19-year old influencer of using his fame to hit on straight me and try to “trick” them into having sex with him.
Charles issued an emotional video in response, saying he was hurt by the allegations and apologizing for any pain he’d caused Westbrook.
He went on to refute the allegations of inappropriate behavior with other men. He posted another video, stating, “I have never, and would never, and will never use my ‘fame’, money or power, to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting, it is not me, and the fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind, because she knows the real story.”
Westbrook has since deleted her video. Although Charles lost around 3million followers in the immediate aftermath of the controversy, his numbers have since rebounded.
Now, in a lengthy interview with Paper magazine, Charles reveals that he continues to struggle with his mental health since the episode. He also labeled Westbrook’s comments about his sex life “disgusting” and hurtful to the LGBTQ community.
“What that statement implies is that gay men are all predatory, which is disgusting, not true and very dangerous to put out there,” he told Paper.
“The whole situation was scary for the LGBTQ+ community and paints a really bad picture of gay men.”
He says one of the incidents referred to by Westbrook involved a man who identifies as bisexual.
“The reality is that the “hook-up” that was being discussed was completely consensual. It was with a boy who told me that he was bisexual and later on told the world he was bisexual. Therefore there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Charles said the breakdown of his relationship with Westbrook still impacted him greatly.
“I’m not mentally in a place where I want to be. What’s even harder to swallow is that it’s been six months since all the drama happened. I thought by this time I’d be completely good — back to normal, if you will — and that’s not the case.”
Charles also says that he’s very wary about getting involved with men romantically as he find himself distrustful and constantly looking for red flags.
“I’ve gotten really good at seeing those early on. You just never know what people’s true intentions are.
“With my job, there are so many blessings but a lot of people see them as an opportunity for themselves to either come up, get financial gain, get followers or attention or take me down with them, which has been attempted. I’m just careful … and lonely.”