Westbrook’s new 40-minute video, titled Breaking my silence, exposed alleged actions from YouTubers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson and the involvement the two had last year in the feud between Westbrook and Charles.
The drama began between Charles and Westbrook last April when Charles posted to his Instagram Story promoting Sugar Bear Hair Care vitamins, which is a competitor to Westbrook’s hair supplement company, Halo Beauty.
Westbrook also referred to multiple examples of Charles exhibiting inappropriate behaviour towards straight men in her video from last May. Charles is gay.
After over a year of silence, Westbrook is speaking up about why she’s been absent from YouTube and what led her to post the Bye, Sister video, which was a play on Charles’ YouTube video intro and catchphrase, “Hi Sisters.” He also refers to his fans as the Sisterhood.
In her new video, Westbrook discussed how Dawson and Star allegedly “manipulated” her into sharing opinions that were critical of Charles.
She declined to share her “receipts” of “the truth” because she says her attorneys advised against it but she read a detailed outline of the events she claims have taken place since she uploaded the video, which caused Charles to lose millions of subscribers on YouTube.
“It’s been a long time coming for me to share with you some very, very important things,” a tearful Westbrook said at the beginning of her new video. “I am going to be reading from what is approved by my legal team.”
Westbrook said she’s “struggled quietly” while she tries to rebuild her “now poisoned reputation.”
“The heartbreak that was born from the scandal still lingers and I feel it won’t ever have the opportunity to completely heal until I cover the truth from all parties involved and their motivation of it all,” she said.
She said she’s lost “over a year” of her life being “terrified of social media” and also “terrified of speaking up against the people that used, coerced and manipulated me into uploading my video in May of last year.”
“Our world seems to be falling apart all around us so the last thing you need me to do is fuel more hate by releasing my receipts and voice memos,” she told her over nine million subscribers.
Westbrook revealed that Charles said he wanted to be beside her for the video but she felt “it was important” that she “do it alone because he deserves my first apology.”
“I am really sorry, James, and I’ve said that privately but I want you to hear it publicly,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
“To provide some context, it’s important for you to know that I love James Charles. He has a special place in my heart and that never changed, even when I was hurt.
“Prior to the scandal last May I started growing frustrated with what I had perceived as a progressive sense of entitlement. I felt that he was making some detrimental choices that could jeopardize his career and safety,” Westbrook said of Charles. “None of my concerns became overwhelming until after I met Shane Dawson.”
She said that when she made her video, she expressed her opinions about Charles’ behaviour but she never called him a “predator” and didn’t make the video with “any malice.”
“I did not make my video because of vitamins. I made it as a result of all of the poisonous lies that were fed to me by Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star.”
She said that after she posted the video she was “never served a lawsuit or any cease and desist letters.”
“I only privated my video at the request of YouTube because YouTube said it was a bad look for their platform,” Westbrook alleged.
She apologized for allowing herself to be “poisoned and weaponized” against Charles and for having “bought into any of their lies.”
“I allowed Shane and Jeffree to put a wedge between our friendship,” she said to Charles while looking into the camera.
Westbrook said one thing Star would do a lot that concerned her was “how he would frequently comment on how much dirt he held on other brand owners and members of our YouTube community.”
“I believe that he actually held blackmail material on many people and was capable of destroying the entire community,” Westbrook said.
She said everyone needs to be “prepared” because she believes he is going to “go off” and “not hold back.”
Westbrook said she eventually began to hang out with Dawson and he said that Star wanted her to have a small role in their upcoming docuseries because “there was something horrible happening in our community with James Charles.”
“He said that James Charles was a monster with many victims,” she said. “Yes, I knew that Shane was friends with Jeffree and that they were working together but I thought to myself, why would Shane Dawson, the king of truth on YouTube, be turning against James Charles unless these things he was saying were true?
“Why would Shane sit in my home and spend so many hours telling me these horrific allegations if they weren’t true? Shane said James Charles was a monster and that James Charles was hurting minors. Shane said he was planning to interview victims for the docuseries. He told me something needed to be done to stop him from hurting more people.
“Over the course of the next few weeks, (Shane) and Jeffree fed me so much information that I felt sick. Almost every day there was more information and new allegations,” she said in her video. “Eventually I started believing what they were saying because they said they had evidence. By the time the drama around James Charles’ promotion of Sugar Bear Hair reached its peak, I was beyond gas-lit.”
She said Dawson offered to help edit her Bye, Sister video and “he even offered to design the thumbnail and help title it” but she declined his offer.
Westbrook said that the night before she filmed the video, Star sent her “what he claimed was an audio file from an alleged victim and told me to listen to the pain in their voice.”
Westbrook said that after she posted her video, she barely heard from Star or Dawson again and she asked them not to include her feud with Charles in their docuseries.
She began to believe she had been used for an “experiment” and that there was going to be “a big reveal in their docuseries.”
“Shane never reached out to check on me and he never shared the trailer with me. The last time we spoke on the phone was before Jeffree’s apology video and I asked him to not include the drama in the series,” she said.
Westbrook said she and Charles reconciled in December.
“After Shane and Jeffree’s series ended, James Charles came to my L.A. home and we compared DMs, texts and stories about what had happened behind the scenes. We apologized to each other, forgave each other and agreed to wait patiently until it was safe for me to share my story. Since that night, James Charles has repeatedly said that he wanted to be beside me for this video but I felt it was important that I do it alone because he deserves my first apology.”
She said in the video that she relocated from California out of fear for her safety.
“I was tormented with subtweets and innuendo that there was a huge drama around the corner. I felt that I was a liability to (Shane and Jeffree) and that I knew too much, so I put all of my text messages and other files on a hard drive and told a few people that I was afraid for my life and had given everything to my lawyers. I was hoping that information would leak as I thought it might keep me safe.”
“Last fall I became so afraid to stay in my L.A. home that I both filmed a lot of videos and I left town in October to get away from it all,” she continued. “I’ve been terrified for a very long time, so much so that I had to relocate again two months ago and I have taken serious security precautions to ensure my safety on the advice of my attorneys.
“It’s now my opinion that Jeffree and Shane were both bitterly jealous of James Charles’ success. Jeffree resented that so much of his business was centred around his biggest rival and Shane did not like that James Charles wanted to make a documentary,” she said.
In the conclusion, Westbrook said she perceives Dawson and Star’s actions to be “defamatory.”
Westbrook also said she is “still well within the statute of limitations for bringing a civil action to seek recovery for my damages.”
“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,” she said. “So for everyone else whose hands are dirty that have not yet come forward, be careful of your allegiance. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the truth.”
After Westbrook released her video, Dawson went on Instagram Live to deny the beauty guru’s claims.
“I’m losing my mind. I’m losing my mind. This is so f—ed. I’m live because I can’t even process. I need a drink of water. I can’t process this,” Dawson said in the since-deleted video. “This is insane. This is insane. This is insane. This woman is a f—ing… oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. I’m going to wait until as many people get in here as possible because I’m losing my mind.”
Dawson’s fiancé Ryland Adams took to Twitter to defend him.
“Shane very well WOULD have posted a video exposing James had he felt so inclined. No receipts because she didn’t want to expose the countless times she told Shane that she was a big girl doing this ONLY for herself.”
Star has not responded to Westbrook’s allegations as of this writing.