James Charles claims he is holding himself accountable for his inappropriate interactions with young fans.
In a new video posted on April 1st, the beauty creator sat down to address allegations he preys on teenage boys after several minors have come forward with alleged evidence in recent days. The accusations against James include sexting minors, soliciting racy photos from minors, manipulating and grooming minors, as well as abusing the fan-influencer power dynamic for his own personal agenda.
“I want to make it really, really clear that I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong. There is no excuse for them and I don’t plan on making any in this video either,” James starts.
The 21-year-old goes on to explain how these encounters minors allegedly transpired. According to James, he added the teens on Snapchat, asked how old they were, and they both told him they were 18-years-old. After messaging, he claims they both told him they were 16-years-old and he immediately blocked them.
On February 26th, James posted a Twitter note addressing one of the accusers— who had taken to TikTok to share his inappropriate messages with James— and maintained the same story. However, the influencer has since faced backlash for his reaction to alleged victims coming forward— getting angry and calling them liars.
James says his immediate reaction to the recent allegations was to be “really, really upset” and he initially wanted to film a video sharing his “receipts” and “screenshots” to tell his side of the story.
“Looking back, that was so stupid, because as I did more research on these topics and self-reflected, I realised that the receipts and the screenshots and the specific details of the interaction really don’t matter because I fucked up,” he says. “I needed to take accountability for my actions and most importantly apologise to the people that were affected by them.”
While insisting the conversations should have never happened in the first place, he says it is his job as an adult to verify who he is talking to and their age.
James apologises directly to the minors he was talking to and calls it “reckless” and “unacceptable” that he added and messaged them in the first place. He claims he does not seek out minors and has always hoped to be in a relationship with someone his age or older.
After reflection, James says he has to admit why he has so many issues with “relationships.”
“It is ridiculously embarrassing to admit this, but I think I have to,” he says. “I am desperate.”
The influencer opens up about how he became “desperate” for love and his mentality around dating, revealing he believed he could use his Instagram explore page as a dating app.
James addresses the power imbalance, claiming he now understands the unfair dynamic he was creating by seeking relationships with fans.
He finishes by saying he understands that by making this video, the criticism online will not simply go away and he is okay with that. “Through uploading this video today, my hope and my expectations are not to press post and then forget about it and move on and wash my hands as if nothing happened,” he says. “Because something did happen and what happened was not okay and I don’t want to just forget about it.”
James promises he will be “more careful” moving forward and says his TikTok for you page and Instagram explore page “are not dating apps.” He also says he will ask for valid ID before speaking with anyone he is romantically interested in.
James’ apology video comes off the back of repercussions for his buisness. Last Friday, Variety reported that James was axed as the host of Youtube Originals’ competition reality show Instant Influencer. Yesterday, Morphe was forced to remove a photo of the James Charles collaboration palette from their Instagram after fans flooded the comment section with backlash.
Here’s hoping this is the last we hear of James Charles engaging with minors.