Zara Larsson has said YouTuber James Charles sent private messages to her boyfriend on Twitter despite ‘knowing damn well he’s straight’.
The singer, 21, made the claims after James, 19, came under fire after fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook uploaded a 43-minute video entitled ‘Bye Sister’ where she outlined several reasons why she was ending her friendship with him.
The video prompted Zara to take to Twitter to claim that James had sent a message to her boyfriend Brian Whittaker.
In a now deleted tweet, she wrote: ‘I’m cackling cause he hit up my boyfriend in the DMs several times knowing damn well he’s straight.’
She later wrote: ‘I feel like deleting this cause I checked and it wasn’t several times, only one DM and some comments under pictures.’
In the video, Tati, 37, said that James’ choice to promote a competitor to her own company was just the latest example of bad behavior — which included James making advances on men he knew to be straight, manipulating others’ sexuality, and speaking crassly about sex in front of her friends and family.
Zara later deleted both of her tweets and wrote another one, expressing regret at getting involved in the controversy.
She wrote: ‘It made me really uncomfortable cause I felt like it was unproportiunally blown up and I honestly don’t wanna be a part of it.
‘I feel like I shouldn’t have made my self involved, even if the behavior is problematic in general.’
MailOnline has contacted both James Charles and a representative of Zara’s for further comment.
The feud has inspired a number of celebrities to unfollow James from YouTube. According to Metro, these include Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, and Shawn Mendes.
James and Tati had enjoyed a years-long friendship, with Tati driving traffic toward James’ pages and praising him in videos.
But their feud began when James attended the Coachella music festival on April 22 and promoted Sugar Bear Hair vitamins on his Instagram Story.
The company — which promises to strengthen and add shine to hair — is in direct competition with Tati’s supplements, Halo Beauty, a brand James said previously wasn’t the right fit for his young followers.
Tati, who helped bolster and grow James’ career, was left frustrated and posted videos in her own Instagram Stories about feeling ‘betrayed.’
This is ultimately what led Tati, who goes by @GlamLifeGuru, to release a lengthy video entitled ‘Bye Sister’ on May 10 — the damning tirade that has now sparked a huge follower loss for her former protégé.
Speaking about the vitamin promotion incident, she said: ‘James Charles, he had nine days after Coachella to talk to me, he knows where I live — he could have come face-to-face and chatted with me because he knew that this would hurt me.’
‘Fame, power, and a fat bank account will change almost anyone,’ she said, adding that she ‘really tried’ to be a good influence in James’ life but failed.
‘I don’t think there’s any getting through to you and I don’t want to be friends with you, I don’t want to be associated with you, and I need to say that really publicly so that this chapter can just be closed.’
She had quite a few other scathing remarks.
‘His ego is so big that he will think that everything is about him,’ she said, adding: ‘Get off your high horse and have some respect. You don’t have any for the people who’ve been in this industry longer than you and that’s the sad fact.’
But it wasn’t just selfishness and lack of professional respect that upset Tati. Midway through her video, she shared how James would use sexuality to manipulate people.
‘He said some things, telling me about a situation that happened in Seattle at my birthday, and it literally made me want to vomit,’ she said.
‘Oh my god, you tried to trick a straight man into thinking he’s gay, yet again, and somehow you’re the victim.
‘You know, it’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality, especially when they are still emerging into adulthood and don’t quite have everything figured out.
‘You are using your fame, your power, your money to play with people’s emotions,’ she said. ‘You’re threatening to ruin them, you’re threatening to embarrass them, and you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor, even if they’re straight.
‘And that’s not OK, that behavior is not OK, whether you’re a woman, a man, gay, straight, bi, whatever sexual orientation you are, that is your call. It is not someone else’s to take, it is not someone else’s to play with… and how dare you laugh about it.
‘Cracking someone’s sexuality is a not an escape room,’ she said.
She said he also acted inappropriately at her birthday dinner, ‘talking in detail about things [he] wanted to do to the waiter.’
‘And when I said, “James, he’s straight,” your response was, “Doesn’t matter, I’m a celebrity.” So freaking gross. And you said that in front of my family.
She said she had to call them up the next morning to apologize on his behalf because it was ‘so uncomfortable’.
The video has been viewed a whopping 34 million times since May 10. In the aftermath, Tati has also gained 3.3 million followers, boosting her subscriber count to 9.15 million.
James responded to the video with an eight minute segment in which he apologized for his actions.
‘I hate knowing that I disappointed not only my fans, but two people that have been role models for me doing this,’ he said, referencing Tati and her husband.
‘What sucks the most is that I know there’s nothing I can say or do to ever earn that friendship or trust back but I don’t blame them for it.
‘A lot of the time when I’ve had to address things in the past, I’ve acted out of impulse and I’ve gone off and tried to pull receipts or facts or screenshots and play the victim and I’m not doing that today, I’m not. That is all I have to say, I’m sorry.’