James Charles is denying claims that he “groomed” a minor on Snapchat.
On Friday, Feb. 26, the YouTuber issued a statement in response to new social media videos in which a 16-year-old, who E! News is not identifying by name, accused James of sending him explicit images. The teen also claimed James asked them to send photos and videos of their “body.” In his statement, James said, “The accusation that I have groomed this person is completely false.”
James admitted to exchanging photos with the teen, but said he was under the impression the individual was 18. “Last week, I came across someone on my instagram explore page, saw he followed me, and added him on snapchat,” the influencer said in the statement. “The next morning, I woke up to several snaps from this person being excited I added him back, saying [they] loved me and [they] told me [they were] 18 so I started flirting back.”
“In this excitement of meeting someone I thought could be potentially great, I didn’t ask for a copy of [their] ID or passport.” He continued, “It’s now clear, based on the video [they] uploaded, [they were] taking photos of me with another device, and had an ulterior motive from the beginning.”
The beauty vlogger said he later learned the person was actually 16, at which point he apologized and told the individual he was “uncomfortable” with the situation.
However, James claimed the minor “insisted on continuing talking, saying it could be our little secret, [they’re] a fan of mine and would never tell anyone.”
“I told [them] I wasn’t okay with this, [they] started getting upset, and at this point, I unfriended [them],” James claimed. “We haven’t spoken since.”
James concluded his message, “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 [person] I have a conversation with.”
In the since-deleted video, the teen claimed they began communicating with James via Snapchat on Wednesday, February 17. The minor shared, “He added me back cause I had snapped him a while ago, just as a fan to influencer conversation. I was excited because he was my biggest influence, influencer wise, and I’ve always looked up to him so I was excited to get his message back.”
After allegedly sending James a picture from the bathroom, the internet star “started making conversation very sexual.”
They continued, “It made me really uncomfortable.”
The minor also claimed James began sending them explicit images, adding, “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.”
According to the individual, James continued to ask for pictures and videos of their body, even after stating they’re underage.
E! News has reached out to James’ reps for comment.