Did James Charles ‘Groom’ an Underage Boy? Beauty Mogul Addresses New Allegations
On Friday (Feb. 26), the makeup mogul was accused of "grooming" an underage boy, allegations he quickly responded to on social media.
Per E! News, in a since-deleted TikTok video posted on Friday, a teen boy who claimed to be 16 years old alleged that the 21-year-old YouTuber sent him explicitly sexual messages and pictures through Snapchat.
In a lengthy message posted to Twitter, marked with a trigger warning for "grooming" and "pedophilia," Charles denied the accusations and shared his version of the situation.
"There's a video going around about me on TikTok and Twitter of a guy calling me a groomer and I want to address it right away," he wrote. "The accusation that I have groomed this person is completely false."
"Last week, I came across someone on my Instagram explore page, saw he followed me, and added him on Snapchat," explained Charles. "The next morning, I woke up to several snaps from this person being excited I added him back, saying he loved me, and also lewd photos of himself in the shower. I asked how old he was right away, and he told me he was 18, so I started flirting back."
"In the excitement of meeting someone I thought could be potentially great, I didn't ask for a copy of his ID or passport. It's now clear, based on the video that he uploaded, he was taking photos of me with another device and had an ulterior motive from the beginning," the YouTuber continued.
Charles detailed that the same day, he received a few messages that led him to "question the validity" of the boy's claims of being 18. "When I asked him to confirm his age once again, he admitted he was 16," he said. "I told him I was really uncomfortable and apologized for flirting, but he insisted on continuing talking, saying it could be our little secret, he's a fan of mine and would never tell anyone."
"I told him I wasn't okay with this, he started getting upset, and at this point, I unfriended him. We haven't spoken since," Charles added. "I'm not victim blaming him or victimizing myself either, simply sharing what happened, and what happened was not okay."
"After false allegations like this in the past, I would never knowingly engage with anyone underage and put my life on the line for a few Snapchats," concluded the beauty influencer. "Because of situations like this, instead of taking someone's word for it, I now will ask to see the ID or passport of every guy I have a conversation with."
It's unclear why the TikToker deleted their original video.