The 21-year-old uploaded a new video on the platform Thursday taking full responsibility for flirting or sexting (sexually explicit texting) with minors.
“I was being reckless,” he said, confirming that at least two interactions with minors took place. “These conversations should have never happened.”
He explained how he added both minors on Snapchat and “asked how old they were right away, was told that they were 18, believed them, engaged in flirty conversation and then, later on, found out that they were 16.”
Charles said he’s “embarrassed” and when the truth came out about their age, he “blocked both people.”
James Charles confirmed at least two interactions with minors were accurate. (AP)
“I needed to take accountability for my actions and more importantly apologize to the people that were affected by them,” the Internet personality said.
In March, multiple minors came forward on social media and shared screenshots of their alleged conversations with Charles. Some claimed he asked them for nude photographs and/or sent them explicit photos and messages.
The beauty guru, who has over 25 million YouTube subscribers, admitted he believed the individuals were older.
“I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself,” Charles said. “As I did more research on this topic and self-reflected, I realized that the receipts and the screenshots and the specific details of the interaction don’t matter, because I f—ed up and I need to take accountability for my actions and apologize to the people who were affected by them.”
The makeup artist added how he’s now understanding the unbalanced power dynamic between a celebrity and a fan.
“A power imbalance can happen even when it’s not intentional,” he reasoned. “What I wasn’t getting before is that the excitement that comes with talking to a celebrity is literally enough to make somebody do or say something they normally wouldn’t. Even if that celebrity isn’t even intentionally weaponizing their fame, money or power. That’s a concept I just wasn’t getting, but I now do.”
Charles concluded his video by announcing he’s going to take a break from social media to “further reflect and educate myself on these topics.”