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YouTube beauty guru James Charles addresses allegations he sexted with minors

NBC News logo NBC News 4/1/2021 Minyvonne Burke
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YouTube beauty guru James Charles posted a video Thursday afternoon addressing allegations that he sexted with underage boys on social media.

In a nearly 15-minute-long video titled "holding myself accountable," Charles apologized to "anybody that I’ve hurt or anybody that I’ve made uncomfortable with my actions."

In the video, the 21-year-old makeup artist addressed allegations from two 16-year-old boys who said they exchanged inappropriate messages with Charles on social media. A recent Vulture article detailed numerous allegations from multiple boys, including a 15-year-old.

Charles said in his video that he contacted one of the 16-year-old boys last year and the other was more recent. In both instances, he said he believed the boys were 18 and he acknowledged engaging in "flirty conversation" with them.

It wasn't until later that he learned the boys were 16, he said.

“Upon finding out, I was immediately embarrassed and blocked both people,” Charles said in the video.

One of the unnamed 16-year-old accusers previously denied to Insider that he lied to Charles about his age.

Charles, who has been involved in multiple scandals throughout his YouTube career, went on to say that the conversations "should have never happened” and he should have done more research on social media to find out the boys' actual age before messaging them.

"There's no excuse for it. There's no if, ands, or buts and I take full responsibility for that. I trusted the information that was given to me, rather than the information I could have and should have gotten myself," he said.

“To the guys involved in this situation, I want to say I’m sorry," he added. "I'm sorry that I added you. I'm sorry that I flirted with you. And I'm really sorry if I ever made you uncomfortable."

Charles said that his initial reaction to the allegations was to post another video similar to one he uploaded in 2019 in which he denied that he pressured straight men into sexual encounters.

“Looking back that was so stupid because as I did more research on these topics and self-reflected, I realized that receipts and screenshots and the specific details of the interaction really don’t matter because I f----- up,” he said. “And I need to take accountability for my actions.”

He ended the video by saying that he will now ask for identification from every guy he speaks to in a romantic way, and is going to take a break from social media.

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