She didn’t see this coming! On May 16, Tati Westbrook took to her YouTube channel for the first time since calling out James Charles with her “Bye Sister” video to explain why she chose to air out their issues in such a public way. In “Why I Did It,” the 37-year-old once again begged fans to stop being so hateful toward the 19-year-old, and explained that she never thought the situation would blow up the way it did.
“Really, when I made that video I thought I would be the one to take that hit,” she explained, acknowledging that James had a way bigger following than her at the time. “I thought I would be the one losing subscribers for speaking up, and that this would cause a lot of controversy, but I didn’t think it would get to this magnitude.” Instead, Tati gained about 5 million subscribers while James lost nearly as many.
Still, she was willing to take the risk because she “was [making] a last-ditch effort to wake up someone that I really loved, and still do, before they go and make some really serious mistakes,” she said. “It was me trying to reach someone who I found completely unreachable. Because this wasn’t just about one thing.” That being said, she also clapped back at people who slammed her for not keeping her grievances between her and James. “What you guys need to know is that there were a ton of private conversations and they were ongoing.” She said there was also a lot more that she didn’t mention in the video, and insisted that she turned down several opportunities to expose James to the press.
Tati also isn’t “celebrating” James’ suffering. “I don’t hate James Charles, I don’t want you guys hating him,” she said. “I can’t go online right now, it’s painful to watch someone that you have cared about be dragged and to know that this all started because of me. I don’t think anyone deserves that.” And any success she has gained from the controversy, well, she doesn’t want it. “If I could give all of the new success back and the new subscribers back, I would.”
Tati went on to reveal that she actually tried to set up a meeting with James at the Google offices, which she considered a “safe space” for both of them. While she didn’t reveal whether or not that meeting will happen, she did tear up explaining that “I wanted the opportunity to face-to-face tell him that I don’t hate him, I love him and I don’t think he’ll get that for a long time.” She also acknowledged his public apology. While she didn’t say whether or not she accepts it, she’s “just hoping we can leave it at that and that people can drop this and move forward.”
As for her, Tati plans to take some time to herself to reflect, and she hopes James does the same. In the meantime, she wants the “hate” and “abusive memes” to stop. “I loved him from the moment I met him,” she mused. “He was this underdog that everyone took a s–t on. That’s how I felt, so for a really long time I felt like I needed to help him. I know a lot of people think this is fake or that there’s this big agenda and there’s not. So yes, I’m hurting. But so is James, and so is our community, and I just pray we can all be kind with each other through this.