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James Charles Says He’s Sorry He ‘Flirted’ With Underage Fans

James Charles Photo: YouTube

James Charles finally acknowledged mounting accusations of “grooming” and Snapchatting minors in a new YouTube video today titled “holding myself accountable,” weeks into backlash on social media. Charles begins the video by saying he did not plan what to say or write a script, like he did two years ago in his video “No More Lies,” which addressed claims that he harassed straight boys. “As I did more research on these topics and self-reflected, I realized that the receipts and the screenshots and the specific details of the interaction really don’t matter because I fucked up, and I needed to take accountability for my actions and, most importantly, apologize to the people who were affected by them,” he begins in a soft voice. Charles specifically apologizes for two underage accusers — “One of them being from last year, and one of them being from more recent” — who he claims initially said they were 18. Since then, four more accusers have come forward. “I trusted the information that was given to me rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself,” he explains. “In both of these situations, doing research into these people’s public social-media profiles would’ve revealed their true ages, and therefore these conversations would have never happened in the first place. But I didn’t do the research, and that is what is so embarrassing.”

“To the guys involved in the situation, I want to say I’m sorry,” he apologizes. “I’m sorry that I added you, I’m sorry that I flirted with you, and I’m really sorry that I made you uncomfortable.”

In the latter half of the video, Charles theorizes as to why he would “not take the precautionary measures that really anybody, but especially somebody with a public platform, should be taking before talking to anybody.” “It sucks, and it’s ridiculously embarrassing to admit this, but I’m desperate,” he says, before explaining his dating situation since 2019’s “No More Lies.” Charles says his recklessness and inexperience is why he used the Instagram Explore page and TikTok For You page “like a dating app.” “That’s just not how dating works literally at all,” he reflects. “It’s gross, it’s weird, and it’s desperation.”

Charles admits he did not understand the power imbalance between himself and fans even after 2019’s cancellation. “What I wasn’t getting before is that the excitement that comes from talking to a celebrity is literally enough to make somebody do or say something they normally wouldn’t, even if that celebrity isn’t intentionally weaponizing their fame, money, or power,” he continues. “That’s the concept I just wasn’t getting, but I now do.” Charles ends the video by saying he is “completely okay” with the conversation continuing. “I didn’t understand how a situation like this could affect the people involved, but now I do, and for that, to the victims, I am so, so sorry. And I promise that something like this will never ever happen again.”

James Charles Says Sorry He ‘Flirted’ With Underage Fans