Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s new series, It’s Complicated, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity “feuds” that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
Spring 2019 will always be remembered as the season James Charles and Tati Westbrook's friendship crashed and burned. ICYMI, the beauty guru drama had the entire YouTube community (and lots of us regular people) riveted. There was just so much tea being spilled and so many receipts flying around that it was hard to figure out who to believe and what was even really going on. The fact that the whole thing centered around an ad for a product that's fake-loved by former Bachelorette contestants was just too good. That's right, sisters — the tiff that shook the internet started when Charles posted an ad on Instagram for Sugar Bear Hair gummies. Obviously, a lot of other stuff went down between the two former besties. So let's take a look at the timeline of James Charles and Tati Westbrook friendship and fallout and see if we can figure out why we all care so much.
2016: CHARLES SLIDES INTO WESTBROOK'S DMS
The two YouTube beauty stars became friends in 2016 when a relatively-unknown Charles slid into Westbrook's DMs after going viral for retaking his yearbook photos with a ring light so his "highlight would be poppin'."
"He always told me that I was the reason that he wanted to get into makeup and was inspired to start his channel," Westbrook later explained. "I made the choice that I was going to help him."
2017: CHARLES DOES WESTBROOK'S WEDDING MAKEUP
Westbrook invited Charles to her wedding and paid for his trip out to Los Angeles from New York. In exchange, he did her wedding makeup, and you can see him featured in her video below.
SEPT. 3, 2018: WESTBROOK GIVES CHARLES A SHOUTOUT
After being named the first-ever male ambassador for CoverGirl, Charles eventually moved out to L.A. for good. Westbrook took him on as a mentee and basically became his surrogate mom. Not only did she give Charles a place to stay, but she showed a ton of support for his projects on both her YouTube channel and in real life — like this time back in September 2018 when she gave him a major shoutout during the launch party for Halo Kiwi.
"James Charles, you are changing everything," she told him in front of the crowd as she fought back tears. "I love you so much!"
APRIL 22, 2019: CHARLES POSTS FOR SUGAR BEAR HAIR
On April 22, Charles posted a short Instagram video for Sugar Bear Hair, a direct competitor of Westbrook's own vitamin supplement company, Halo Beauty.
Here it is:
After the video dropped, Westbrook posted a clip to her own Instagram Story. She didn't name names, but she did say, through tears, that she was having a crappy day and felt "really lost" and "really lonely" in the industry because people continuously use each other to get ahead.
APRIL 24, 2019: CHARLES ISSUES APOLOGY
Two days later, Charles hit up Instagram again, this time to apologize in a statement to Westbrook, who he said had been "like a mother" to him since his first days in the industry.
MAY 10: WESTBROOK DROPS "BYE SISTER"
Westbrook posted her now-infamous "BYE SISTER" video, where she dragged Charles because he still did not mention her Halo Beauty brand name in his apology, which only added to her suspicions that he actually had a contract with Sugar Bear Hair, and was not simply doing them a favor in return for security.
She also revealed that she no longer wanted to be friends with Charles, and called some of his past behavior "disgusting" and "manipulative."
You can watch her full takedown here, which caused Charles to lose millions of followers (and which Westbrook has now deleted from her channel):
Elite Daily previously reached out to Charles' team regarding Westbrooks' claims in her "BYE SISTER" video, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
MAY 10: CHARLES ISSUES SECOND APOLOGY
Several hours after Westbrook shared her video, Charles posted an 8-minute apology of his own.
"I met Tati almost three years ago now," he explained in his now-deleted apology. "When I was first coming into the industry and when I had no friends and nobody to talk to or look up to, Tati very quickly took on a parental role with me. Her and her husband have given me so much love and advice and opportunities... and support when nobody else would or wanted to. And I'm so disappointed in myself that I ruined our relationship."
Followers captured the apology and re-uploaded it to YouTube, so you can watch it below:
MAY 14: ENTER, NIKITA DRAGUN
The YouTuber and Dragun Beauty founder rolled up to Twitter to share a bunch of screenshots to help prove that Charles' endorsement of the Sugarbear Hair vitamins was, in fact, a last-minute deal he worked out in order to get extra security at Coachella.
"Heard a situation needed some clarification," Dragun wrote. "My friend was in an emergency and texted me in the moment... I connected him with Sugar Bear. Nothing shady."
MAY 16: WESTBROOK EXPLAINS "WHY I DID IT..."
In a video called "Why I Did It..." — which Westbrook has also now deleted — Westbrook revealed that the reaction to her "BYE SISTER" video (you know, Charles basically being canceled) came as a huge wake-up call.
"When I made that video, I thought that I would be the one to take the hit," she explained. "I thought I was going against millions and millions of subscribers. I want to share with you guys that I really want the hate to stop. I really hope on both sides it can stop. That is not why I made the video. This was really a wake-up call and it was me trying to reach someone who I found completely unreachable."
MAY 18: CHARLES BRINGS RECEIPTS
In a 42-minute video called "No More Lies," James addressed every single claim Westbrook made about him, pulling out receipt after receipt.
He shared screenshots of text messages between himself and Westbrook that were allegedly exchanged on April 22, ahead of his Sugar Bear Hair post. In the messages, Charles appears to have told Westbrook about the deal he made to post for the company in exchange for them getting him security at Coachella.
Westbrook appears to have responded to Charles' messages. Take a look:
You can watch his full video here.
ALSO ON MAY 18: WESTBROOK ANNOUNCES DIGITAL BREAK
Westbrook took to Twitter to announce she was taking a break from social media to work on herself.
MAY 19: WESTBROOK DROPS THE DRAMA
"I have been in communication with James Charles," Westbrook wrote in a Twitter statement on May 19. "And we believe that it is in the best interest of our community, our viewers and our own mental health to put this matter to a rest. In my original video, I felt the need to publicly break up with James with a warning call loud enough for him to hear. Although I do not regret raising my concerns, I completely regret the way I went about saying them. I could have and should have found a better way."
ALSO ON MAY 19: CHARLES IS DOWN TO DROP THE DRAMA
"I am on board to move on, will not speak about this further, but do hope to speak in the future when we’re all ready," Charles tweeted in response to Westbrook's statement. "This week was awful for all of us and I ask that the community focuses on positivity moving forward."
MAY 22: WESTBROOK COMES BACK TO TWITTER
Westbrook was clearly still struggling with everything that went down, and took to Twitter to try and work her feeling out.
"I'm sorting through all that is heavy & dark with a purpose of finding light," she wrote. "The names they call me good or bad are theirs. Their opinion of me is not mine to absorb. What they think of me is not why I am here. For those of you that miss me, I miss you too. I will be back soon."
MAY 24: CHARLES CANCELS SISTERS TOUR
As a result of all the drama with Westbrook, Charles announced in a YouTube video that he was pulling the plug on his tour.
"A lot has gone on in the past few weeks, which has led many people, including myself, wondering what was going to happen to the tour," he explained. "We have officially come to the very, very tough decision that I am canceling the 'Sisters Tour.' I am trying to move on with my life. I’m still not doing well... I feel like I can’t deliver the best version of James right now, and that sucks."
As of June 12, been over two weeks since Charles announced the tour cancellation, and so far there's been no response from Westbrook — snarky or otherwise. Could all of this drama finally over? Stay tuned. But for now, at least, it looks like that may be the case.
Bless up, sisters. Bless up!