Social media star James Charles has released a statement denying the allegations that he “groomed” a minor, rumors that had been going around after a TikTok posted by a 16-year-old fan.
On February 26, a James Charles fan posted TikTok video claiming that on Feb. 17, he had started talking with the influencer on Snapchat.
In the video, which is currently unavailable on the video platform, he posted supposed screenshots of his Snapchat history with Charles, and claimed that soon he started to feel “uncomfortable” based on the direction their conversation was headed.
The 16-year-old went on to claim that after he refused Charles’ request to send more explicit pictures, the influencer kept asking anyway.
“He started making the conversation very sexual, and it made me really uncomfortable,” he said before showing the screenshots. “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.”
Just a few hours after the videos were posted, James released a statement on Twitter in which he denied “grooming” anyone and gave his side of the story.
“The accusation that I have groomed this person is completely false. Last week, I came across someone on my Instagram explore page, saw he followed me, and added him on Snapchat,” Charles said. “I asked how old he was right away and he told me he was 18 so I started flirting back. In the excitement of meeting someone I thought could be potentially great, I didn’t ask for a copy of his ID or passport.”
The 21-year-old added that he unfriended the fan making the accusations after he found out his actual age of 16, and that they hadn’t spoken since then.
“I’m not victim-blaming him or victimizing myself either, simply sharing what happened, and what happened was not okay,” James wrote. “Because of situations like this, instead of taking someone’s word for it, I now will ask to see the ID or passport of every guy I have a conversation with.”
It remains to be seen if anything more will happen in this situation, but we’ll keep you updated on any further developments.