A few hours after beauty guru Tati Westrbook posted a 43 minute video on YouTube publicly breaking off her friendship and working relationship with fellow blogger James Charles, the 19-year-old posted an 8 minute tearful apology. Speaking directly to camera, he addressed his tempered speech to both Tati and her husband, James Westbrook.
“I owe two important people an apology,” Charles said. “To Tati and James Westbrook. I am sorry for everything that is going on and everything that I’ve put you through over the past few weeks. I met Tati and James almost three years ago now, when I was first coming into the industry, when I had no friends and no one to look up to, and Tati very quickly took on a parental role because she knew my parents were out of the country… They’ve been very loyal to me and I betrayed that.”
In the video, Charles worries that there’s nothing he can do to earn their trust back. “And I don’t blame them for it,” he admits. “I have a long way to go and that’s okay. I am going to keep learning and growing to be the best version of me that I can be.”
Charles has seen a loss in his subscribers since Westbrook called him out on YouTube in her video entitled “Bye, Sister,” and fellow celebrities have followed suit on Instagram. Jeffree Starr, Kylie Jenner and singer Shawn Mendes have all unfollowed Charles on the social media site.
In response to Tati’s frustration and condemnation of watching him romantically pursuing men that he knows are straight Charles said, “Boys have been a topic that I’ve talked a lot about on my social media journey, and it’s a topic I wish I hadn’t. I’ve been involved in a lot of unique and strange situations that have left people confused or upset, and I learned the hard way about ways that I can interact with boys that I’m interested in and ones that I should or shouldn’t be talking to. This is a conversation I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with, and something I should be more careful with bringing to the public eye.”
“Coincidentally, Tati was one of the people to sit me down and tell me how it looked from the outside. And let me know like ‘Hey, talking to these boys might get you in trouble one day,’ and she was right.”
When Charles mentions his own mother, he breaks down in tears, but his followers on Twitter were not buying it. Fans were quick to compare his apology to another beauty blogger’s tearful apology video, Laura Lee‘s, after racist tweets from six years ago were discovered. Fans found her tears to be fake and her apology disingenuous.
The tweets in question, in which Lee wrote “Tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster #yourwelcome” were extremely disappointing the v-logger’s fans.
Afterward, Lee posted the following apology video: