The mother of YouTube’s beauty community has spoken. beauty
Tati Westbrook, known simply by her first name through her insanely popular YouTube channel, has broken her silence Friday on the drama with beauty guru James Charles. In Westbrook’s most recent upload, she not only addressed the drama at length but officially called to cut ties with the 19-year-old.
The two beauty influencers have been close friends since the onset of Charles’ career. In her video, Westbrook noted a previous “falling out” with Charles but later blamed it on his aged and believed “he would grow out of it.”
The final straw came when Charles released an advertised post with one of Westbrook’s biggest competitors. The 37-year-old noted that it was more than just showing support for a competitor, but it proved that the 19-year-old could, indeed, “be bought” with money.
“I know [James] has a way of getting what he wants,” Westbrook said toward the beginning of the nearly 45-minute video. “There’s so much going on with James Charles right now that I do not support, that I do not agree with.”
“Fame, power and a fat bank account will change almost anyone,” she added. “If you don’t have people that will tell you to your face that you are doing the wrong things, you will change.”
“I tried to be that person for you, James. I really tried,” Westbrook continued. “I don’t think there’s any getting through to you and I don’t want to be friends with you, I don’t want to be associated with you and I need to say that very publicly so that chapter can be closed.”
For those that have not kept up with the recent, dramatic development within YouTube’s beauty community, here is a full timeline:April 22, 2019
Charles posts an advertised video on his Instagram story, promoting hair and sleep vitamins from the company Sugar Bear Hair. The company is regularly endorsed by various influencers, including the Kardashians, but the 19-year-old’s involvement was the epicenter of the very public blowout.
Westbrook owns and operates her own hair supplement company known as Halo Beauty and later posted her own Instagram story saying she felt “betrayed” and “lost” within the beauty community.
“Through this whole journey in YouTube, I feel like have been someone who’s been super supportive to my friends,” Westbrook said at the time, tears welling in her eyes. “When you do so much for people in your life and they not only don’t return the favor, but they just don’t even see you… I feel really used.” April 23, 2019
Following Westbrook’s tear-filled Instagram video, many on social media began to point fingers at Charles. The 19-year-old then took to his own social media platform to publicly apologize to his “close friend.”
“I want to publicly apologize to my close friend, Tati,” Charles began. “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 sleep 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,” he continued. “Tati has a vitamin brand which I take on a daily basis, but in the moment, I did not think about the competition.”
He concluded: “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.” May 4, 2019
Over a week after the initial post by both Charles and Westbrook, the drama between the two was still a trending topic with the beauty community. Anger was reignited, however, when fellow beauty guru Gabriel Zamora posted his “Makeup and Opinions” video, publicly calling out Westbrook’s “fraudulent behavior.”
May 10, 2019
Now the most recent development is Westbrook’s explanation of the entire situation, while also acknowledging Zamora’s video saying, “it’s way more than just vitamins.”
Charles has not addressed Westbrook’s latest upload, but the 37-year-old followed up her YouTube with the tweet: “If you’re scared to speak up… it’s usually a sign that you should.”
Seven hours after Westbrook’s video, Charles released a video of his own. Titled “Tati,” the nearly 9-minute video features a slow-speaking, bare-faced Charles as he addressed the recent scandal.
Switching his usual opening phrase “hi, sisters” for “hi, all,” the 19-year-old jumps right into the contents of Westbrook’s video and delivered an apology to “two important people.”
“To Tati and James Westbrook, I’m sorry for everything that is going on and everything I put you through in the last few weeks,” the makeup guru began. “I’m disappointed in myself that I ruined our relationship.”
“What sucks the most is that there is nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back, but I don’t blame them for it,” he continued. “I wish I can say this is the last time I’m going to make a mistake, but it won’t be … I’m going to keep trying my best and keep learning and growing.”
“In regards to the Coachella situation … no matter what I say or do, there are always going to be people that don’t believe me and will think that I’m lying–and that’s OK,” he concluded. “At this point, the truth really does not matter, it’s the feelings that do. No matter what happened, I hurt two very important people. They’ve been really loyal to me and I betrayed that.”
Charles’ video has garnered over 8.5 million views and an overwhelmingly negative like-dislike ratio. The 19-year-old’s response received over 900,000 dislikes and over 200,000 likes from viewers.
The 19-year-old is currently down nearly a million YouTube subscribers and counting.
Update on Saturday, May 11, 2019, 1:12 p.m. ET: This article was updated to included James Charles’ response to Tati Westbrook’s video.