James Charles breaks silence on grooming allegations: “I wanted to kill myself”

Meera Jacka
James Charles breaks silence on grooming allegations

In 2021, James Charles was accused of grooming and having inappropriate conversations with minors. Now, the makeup guru has spoken out on the controversy and is looking for a relaunch.

James Charles has come a long way since rising to fame in 2016 and becoming the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl. In his time on the internet, the makeup artist has found himself with plenty of controversies under his belt.

Most notable was when Charles was accused of grooming in 2021, with multiple minors coming forward to claim the influencer had engaged in inappropriate conversations with them. This resulted in massive backlash and Charles ultimately being canceled.

More than two years later and Charles is looking to relaunch himself and his brand, speaking to Cosmopolitan about the scandal.

James Charles on Instagram
James Charles is hoping to relaunch himself two years after the grooming allegations.

2021 saw the makeup mogel fall from grace with accusations alleging Charles messaged minors despite knowing their age.

“[Charles] started making the conversation very sexual, and it made me really uncomfortable,” one of the minors said before showing screenshots of the interaction. “I was getting really uncomfortable so I told him my age, I told him I’m 16. Meanwhile, he’s 21, he’s a grown man.”

But Charles has remained adamant that he was not aware he was speaking to minors, telling Cosmopolitan, “I’ve never been more disgusted in my life than when I found out that that kid was 16 years old. I was mortified, absolutely mortified.”

Admitting that he “absolutely did fuck up” by not confirming the age of those he spoke to, Charles stated the allegations had a serious effect on his mental health.

“I can’t even begin to explain to you how bad that week of my life was,” Charles said. “I was crying myself to sleep every single night. I was sitting there in bed staring at my phone. I wanted to kill myself. I wasn’t talking to anybody.”

He also does not believe the interactions should be classified as grooming, claiming “that word is a very popular buzzword right now, especially in politics and stuff. But the actual meaning of it has been so misconstrued.”


Charles lost multiple business ventures due to the allegations — with an estimated loss of income in the millions — and his younger brother cut ties over the controversy.

Now he is looking to relaunch his career with a new makeup line, Painted, after taking the time to “do a lot of thinking”.

“Like, Okay, babe, this is your fault,” Charles said he told himself. “No, you’re not a pedophile. No, you’re not a fucking groomer. No, you’re not a predator. But you made a big mistake.”

Painted is set to launch in the summer of 2023, leaving it yet to be determined how the internet will respond to the makeup artist’s new line once it’s out in the public domain.

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