In a 40-minute video uploaded June 30, Beauty YouTuber Tati Westbrook opened up about her experiences with YouTube stars Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star, saying the two “used, coerced, and manipulated” her to upload her last year’s “Bye, Sister” video, in which she cut ties to James Charles.
She alleged in that video from May 2019 that Charles disrespected her after mentoring him in his own beauty vlogging career, and that he “tricked” straight people into believing they are gay. In the fallout Charles lost more than 3 million subscribers. Now, she says she made the video after Star and Dawson “gaslit.” (Dawson has recently been on fire for a history of racism and predatory behavior on YouTube.) Westbrook says she apologized to Charles in private months ago, but also made public apologies in the video. “He deserves my first apology,” she says.
Tati Westbrook claims to have “started to grow frustrated with what I perceived as a progressive sense of entitlement” with Charles, but “neither of my concerns became overwhelming until after I met Shane Dawson.” As Westbrook got to know Star, “he would often comment on how much dirt he had on other brand owners and members of our YouTube community,” she says.
“I believe he actually held blackmail material on many people and was able to destroy the entire community.” By 2019, she says Star started to focus on Charles, telling Westbrook Charles was “out of control.”
She later met Dawson, “hoped that one day he would help me tell my personal story,” in his “documentary” series on YouTube. She told him she was a victim of sexual assault, and “he pledged his unending friendship and loyalty to me in this life and in the next one.” As Dawson told her, Charles was “a monster with many victims,” whom Dawson said he was planning to interview.
Tati Westbrook shared her “Bye, Sister” video after Charles approved a sponsorship for her own Halo Beauty brand with SugarBearHair, a vitamin-supplement competitor. (In this video, she also claims that YouTube asked her to take it down, because “it was a bad look for the platform.”) She says that Star sent her what he claimed was audio from one of Charles’ “victims” the night before she filmed, and that Dawson offered to help her edit the video. She says that the last time she spoke on the phone with Dawson or Star was the night before Star posted his “Never Doing This Again” video that responded to her “Bye, Sister” video.
“Shortly after, the relationship dissolved entirely, and I was so confused,” Westbrook says. “I bought into the conspiracy theory that what happened was all a social experiment … and that I would be the fool who fell for it.” She then put off the fertility medication due to uncertainty and worried about retribution, leaving Los Angeles during fall 2019 for a period of time. “Slowly, I became a shell of my former self,” she says.
Westbrook says, “It is now my opinion that Jeffree and Shane were both bitterly jealous of James Charles’s success … It’s also my opinion that Jeffree and Shane needed James marginalized and out of the way for their November launch of the Conspiracy Palette, along with Shane’s merch.” Star, she claims, is “allegedly a co-owner of Morphe,” A company about to launch its own brand of vitamin supplements which recently removed Dawson products for its racist history. “This entire situation opens up a Pandora’s Box of speculation, but I’m just not sure anyone counted on this drama spreading like wildfire,” Westbrook says.
Westbrook says she thinks “James Charles was not [Dawson and Star’s] only intended target … I believe there are many people who have unclean hands in all of this.” She also worries about Star’s reaction to her coming forward. “I do not think he is going to hold back and I think we need to be prepared to understand that we need to forgive the people he holds hostage with veiled exposure threats,” she says. “So prepare to not cancel everyone and give them a chance.”Westbrook calls Star and Dawson’s acts “cowardly and defamatory,” concluding her post.
“I am still well within the statute of limitations for bringing a civil action to seek recovery for my damages,” she says. “Should I proceed with this course of actions, my attorneys will be deposing all witnesses who have information about the truth of what happened here. So for everyone else whose hands are dirty, who have not yet come forward, be careful of your allegiance. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the truth.”
Dawson replied on June 30 to a video of Westbrook on Instagram Live. “You’re so manipulative. You are fake crying,” he said, rolling his eyes, after Westbrook listed her sexual harassment experience. “She is a fucking — I can’t, I can’t, I don’t want to say mean things about people,” Dawson said earlier in his livestream. “THIS IS A FUCKING LIE AND IM LOSING MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!” The video was posted after Westbrook but the tweet was removed shortly after. Ryland Adams, Dawson’s fiancé, tweeted, “Tati Westbrook-a master class of deception. The only [way] to save her reputation was to side with the person she tried to ruin. Make no mistake. This 40 year old woman choose to post a video on her own accord.” He added, “Shane very well WOULD have posted a video exposing James had he felt so inclined,” referring to the “Bye, Sister” video. Charles has yet to respond publicly, only tweeting “love u guys” hours before the video dropped.
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