James Charles denies accusations of 'grooming' a 16-year-old fan

James Charles denies accusations of 'grooming' a 16-year-old fan
James Charles.Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  • James Charles, a beauty YouTuber with over 25 million subscribers, denied "grooming" a minor.
  • On Friday, a TikTok user who says he's 16 posted censored nude photos he says Charles sent him.
  • In a statement, Charles said he would ask for ID from men he pursues in the future.

Beauty YouTuber James Charles, who is 21, released a statement Friday denying that he "groomed" a TikTok user who says he's 16. The user said he was sent nude photos from Charles last week over Snapchat.

"Grooming" refers to building "a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person" in order to "manipulate, exploit and abuse them," according to the UK's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

The accuser told his story in a video that contained censored images of the nude photos Charles is purported to have sent him as well as messages where the accuser says Charles asked for photos in return. The video was eventually removed from Twitter for violating guidelines. Twitter did not immediately respond for comment but enforces a policy that bans posts including non-consensual nudity of other people.
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In his statement, Charles - who has over 25 million YouTube subscribers - wrote that he came across the TikTok user on Instagram and added him on Snapchat. Charles said the accuser then sent him "lewd photos of himself in the shower" and claimed to be 18. Charles says he "flirted" back.

"It's now clear, based on the video he uploaded, he was taking photos of me with another device, and had an ulterior motive from the beginning," Charles wrote. He says the TikTok user then said he was 16, and Charles says he unfriended him. Charles says he plans to ask for an ID or passport to verify ages in the future.

In direct messages with Insider, the accuser said Charles "lied in his tweet."
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"I never told him I was 18, in my tik tok bio it says I'm 16," he said. "I didn't record me saying it just like how he doesn't have proof of me supposedly saying I'm 18."

The teenager who accused Charles stands by his story

The TikTok user who accused Charles of "grooming" him goes by Isaiyah on the app and has over 200,000 followers. He posted multiple videos containing the accusations to TikTok and Twitter, but at least one video accusing Charles was removed from TikTok after Charles released his statement.Isaiyah said TikTok removed the videos from his account. A representative for TikTok didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for confirmation.
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In his video, Isaiyah said he added Charles on Snapchat first and sent him a message expressing that he was a fan of Charles. He said he was excited to see Charles had opened his Snapchat messages because "he's my biggest influence, influencer-wise, and I've always looked up to him."

In a so-called "part 2," Isaiyah posted more of what he said were "explicit" photos Charles sent him, which he censored.

"I was getting really uncomfortable so I told him my age, I told him I'm 16," Isaiyah said. He went on to say that Charles then repeatedly asked for nude photos and to FaceTime him.
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Isaiyah also responded to Charles' statement with a screenshot purporting to show that he blocked Charles on Snapchat. He claims that Charles never asked for his age.

Isaiyah also posted a screen recording of a voice memo he says he sent a friend while he was talking to Charles.

In the screen recording, Isaiyah can be heard saying that Charles "still did it and that's the problem" and that he was waiting to see if Charles would keep asking him to send things back.
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In the last several years following the #MeToo movement, grooming and child predation have become major discussion topics online, with many alleged victims posting their stories about purported interactions they've had with major and minor celebrities. In the last year, several members of Charles' cohort have faced similar allegations.

Charles and a representative for Charles didn't respond to Insider's request for comment.

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