Beauty vlogger James Charles has released a new video addressing the recent allegations that he exchanged sexually explicit messages with minors, apologizing to fans and telling them he was “being reckless.”
In a video titled “holding myself accountable” posted to his YouTube page on Thursday, the 21-year-old apologized for making people “uncomfortable” with his actions.
Earlier this year, several teenage boys under the age of 18 came forward on social media to share allegations of inappropriate sexual experiences with Charles; one claimed Charles had groomed him and pressured him into sexting over Snapchat, while another posted screenshots that alleged Charles flirted with him via Instagram despite knowing he was underage. Most recently, a 15-year-old on TikTok posted screenshots from alleged conversations with Charles and said that Charles later blocked him and accused him of lying. He also claimed that Charles knew he was underage and that the vlogger continued the conversations anyway.
Charles previously denied the allegations, but in the video this week admits he still “fucked up.”
“These conversations should have never happened, point blank, period. There’s no excuse for it,” he said before adding that he should have done the research into how old these people were.
“I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself.”
He called the situation “embarrassing” and later in the video said that becoming famous and getting increased amounts of attention has “affected me in ways I didn’t understand.”
“I’m making a promise to all of you right now, on camera, that I will be way more careful moving forward with every single person that I speak to. My [TikTok] ‘for you page’ and ‘explore’ page are not dating apps and I will stop treating them as if they are,” he said toward the end of the video.
Charles concluded the video by apologizing to fans for not taking their criticisms “seriously” and saying he’d be taking some time away from posting to “reflect and further educate myself on these topics.”
Amid the controversy, Charles has been removed as the host of the YouTube reality competition show “Instant Influencer.” A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to Variety last week that Season 2 “will take a new creative direction, including a new host.”