An attempt to offer “clarification” in the midst of a feud between YouTube stars James Charles and Tati Westbrook looks to have backfired.
Nikita Dragun, a friend of Charles’ and another YouTube personality, posted some screen grabs of texts meant to support the makeup artist, but instead has people on Twitter accusing Dragun of faking the text exchange.
Dragun has denied it.
“U really think i have the time to fake texts?” she asked in a tweet Tuesday. “The only thing i edit is my waist on facetune sis. They have the screen recording of the messages.”
It’s the latest in the drama that has resulted in Charles losing more than 3 million YouTube followers, offering the public a behind-the-scenes glimpse at social media influencers.
The saga started in April when Charles posted an ad for Sugar Bear Hair supplements to his Instagram Story during Coachella.
That proved to be problematic since Sugar Bear Hair is a huge competitor of Halo Beauty, the brand belonging to Westbrook.
Westbrook has been a mentor and close friend to Charles, and she accused the 19-year-old of being unsupportive.
He tried to make amends by apologizing to Westbrook in a statement posted to his Instagram Story.
But Westbrook apparently wasn’t appeased and posted a 43-minute video to YouTube explaining the feud and her decision to end her friendship with Charles.
The video, in which she accused Charles of spreading lies about her and sexually manipulating men (Charles identifies as gay), quickly went viral.
Charles apologized again to Westbrook and her husband in a YouTube video Friday and addressed the points she had made in her video.
“Most of my career over the past few years has been about me making mistakes and trying to learn and grow from them. I haven’t always done the best job of that, I can admit that,” Charles said. “But I have always tried.”
Enter Dragun, who on Tuesday tweeted screen shots of texts between herself and Charles meant to show he didn’t purposely promote his mentor’s business rival.
The texts appear to show Charles asking Dragun for her assistance in getting artist credentials for Coachella from Sugar Bear Hair as he was getting “attacked” in the VIP area.
“Heard a situation needed some clarification,” Dragun wrote in the tweet including the screen shots. “My friend was in an emergency and texted me in the moment… unfortunately since @dragunbeauty used all of our marketing budget on the 𝓯𝓪𝓷𝓽𝓪𝓼𝔂, i connected him with sugar bear. nothing shady.”
But YouTube channel Tea Spill tweeted its own screen grabs that it said were of texts with Charles that didn’t correspond with what Dragun posted.
“Alright so… James texted Nikita asking if she could get him a SBH sponsorship but he told me that he was being mobbed and sugar bear reached out to HIM.. sister lied to me,” the Tea Spill tweet said.
Others appeared to question the timing within Dragun’s shared text exchange.
“So you read james’ texts, replied, texted SBH multiple times, got a response, and texted James back all with in 60 seconds,” one person tweeted.
As of Wednesday a live subscriber count continued to show Charles losing followers.
CNN’s Harmeet Kaur contributed to this report.