Tati Westbrook Breaks Silence Over ‘Predatory’ James Charles Comments
YouTuber Tati Westbrook has broken her silence, not only apologising to James Charles for saying he ‘seduced straight men’, but also calling out Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star for ‘weaponising her’ to ruin his career.
In a tearful video, the 38-year-old made a bid to explain last year’s ‘Bye Sister’ controversy, in which she accused Charles of ‘tricking straight men into thinking they are gay’, sparking a colossal backlash and millions of lost subscribers for both online stars.
While conceding that there’s only so much she could say that had been approved by her legal team, Westbrook said she hopes ‘this video clears up a lot of the reasons why I felt I could not be online over the past couple of months’.
The beauty vlogger said she’s constantly been the ‘number one target of relentless hate’, adding that she’s ‘lost over a year of my life terrified of social media and terrified of speaking up against the people that used, coerced, and manipulated me into releasing my video in May of last year’.
In the year since the video, Charles and Westbrook have made amends. ‘We compared DMs, texts, and stories about what had happened behind the scenes. We apologised to each other, forgave each other, and agreed to wait patiently until it was safe to share my story… James, I am so sorry that I allowed myself to be poisoned and weaponised against you,’ she said.
Prior to the video being uploaded, Westbrook was allegedly ‘more of a mentor than a friend’ to Charles. While she’d been getting irritated by his ‘entitled’ attitude after accepting a sponsorship deal from a rival vitamin brand, she was also being fed accusations by Dawson and Star that he was preying upon straight men.
I’m sorry that I bought into any of their lies. Believing their lies and allowing myself to be gaslit into making that video is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I should have tried harder to reach you over those concerns in person and I’m sorry for giving up.
None of my concerns became overwhelming until after I met Shane Dawson. When I made my video, I expressed my opinions about James Charles’ behavior. I expressed how much a specific decision he made that I perceived as betrayal hurt me. I was very worried and heartbroken but I did not lie in that video.
Westbrook went on to say she ‘did not call James Charles a predator and I never said that he was a danger to society. My video was not made with any malice. I did not publicly air any of the horrific accusations that were being made behind the scenes’.
Dawson and Star had allegedly been ‘poisoning’ her for months prior to the video. ‘The information they were giving me was terrifying. I thought your career and freedom were in jeopardy… I was trying to get you to put your phone down and seek help because I was told there were a lot of victims that were going to come forward to destroy you,’ she said.
You can watch Westbrook’s full video below:
Further apologising to Charles, Westbrook added:
Yes, I’m a grown woman, I’m smart, I can usually spot deceit and manipulation a mile away, but my guard was down from being heartbroken, and I allowed myself to be worked by Shane, Jeffree, and others. James I apologise for uploading that video. I should have known better than to fall for their lies and manipulation. And instead I allowed Shane and Jeffree to put a wedge between our friendship.
Dawson has been at the centre of another controversy recently, after footage emerged of him appearing to masturbate over a Radio Disney poster of Willow Smith when she was 11 years old. Amid the backlash, he’s lost nearly 600,000 subscribers, while YouTube has removed monetisation on all three of his channels.
Westbrook added that she and Charles are planning legal action against Star, Dawson and others in the scandal. ‘Make no mistake, this is far from over,’ she said.
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