James Charles is getting accused of being a groomer again

On February 26, 2021, a 16-year-old boy used TikTok to accuse James Charles of predatory conduct, even giving receipts for their back-and-forth contact, which included illicit images and messages. According to the accuser, who goes by the name Isaiyah, he approached James for mentorship but was instead met with sexual advances.

Isaiyah said he added James Charles on Snapchat because he was a big fan and messaged him explaining how much he loved his content. James added him back and read his messages. It’s important to note that James could have recognized him from his TikTok account, which has about a quarter of a million followers. Isaiyah then claims James Charles sent inappropriate images and videos of himself and asked for some in return. “I was getting really uncomfortable so I told him I’m sixteen. Meanwhile he’s twenty-one. He’s a grown man,” said Isaiyah in the video he made about the situation. Then he alleges that James Charles said he didn’t care, didn’t stop sending and asking for photos, and asked to FaceTime him. Isaiyah has screenshots and video proof of the Snapchat’s James Charles was sending him.

A lot of backlash came at Isaiyah because people thought he had lied about his age to James to get clout. However, on Isaiyah’s TikTok, his age is in his biography. When he pointed this out, people assumed he had switched it after he talked to James. Isaiyah then shared a screenshot of his instagram story in which he was promoting his TikTok account from eleven weeks before and his age is visible.

On twitter, James wrote “There’s a video going around about me on TikTok and Twitter of a guy calling me a groomer and I want to address it right away. 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. The next morning, I woke up to several snaps from this person being excited. I added him back, saying he loved me, and also lewd photos of himself in the shower. I asked how old he was right away and he told me he was 18 so I started flirting all. In the excitement of meeting someone I thought could be potentially great, I didn’t ask for a copy of his ID or passport. It’s now clear, based on the video he uploaded, he was taking photos of me with another device and has an ulterior motive from the beginning. Later in the day, he said a few things that made me question the validity of his original age answer and when I asked him to confirm his age once again, he admitted he was 16. I told him I was really uncomfortable and apologized for flirting, but he insisted on continuing talking, saying it could be our little secret, he’s a fan of mine and would never tell anyone. I told him I wasn’t okay with this, he started getting upset, and at this point, I unfriended him. We haven’t spoken since. I’m not victim blaming him or victimizing myself either, simply sharing what happened, and what happened was not okay. After false allegations like this in the past, I would never knowingly engage with anyone underage and put my life on the line for a few Snapchat’s. 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.”

An issue followers had with this statement is that James is using his fan base as a dating pool. There are clear power imbalances between an influencer with millions of followers and fans even if they are of a legal age. A lot of followers told Isaiyah he only did it for clout. However, even if he did, he was still sixteen and is still a victim. Even if James thought he was eighteen he definitely should have double checked before sending any nude photos of himself. As James said in his statement, he found Isaiyah on his Instagram explore page so he had the opportunity to look at his social media to check and verify his age.

To conclude, whether or not it was for clout or not, everything that happened between James Charles and Isaiyah is alleged and predatory in many ways.