Beauty YouTuber James Charles has admitted that he was sending sexually explicit messages to two 16-year-old boys.
“I fully understand my actions and how wrong they are,” the 21-year-old YouTuber said in a video posted on his YouTube channel on Thursday.
Allegations against Charles first surfaced on social media earlier this year.
In February, the beauty influencer- who has 25 million subscribers on his YouTube channel – was accused by another teenager of grooming, which Charles denied, saying he flirted with the person because he believed the boy to be 18.
Charles had denied his earlier allegations, but in Thursday’s video, entitled “Holding myself accountable”, he admitted to what was done wrong on his side.
He said there had been two incidents – one last year and the other recently – in which he realized that the person he was texting was also under his age.
“These conversations should not have happened,” Charles said in the 14-minute video. He admitted that he would have sought them out on other social media platforms to find out their true age.
He also publicly apologized to the boys and said he would take some time to be away from social media to “educate himself” about these issues.
The scandal is not the first time the beauty influencer has faced a controversy.
In 2019, he was accused of using “fame and fortune to try to sexually exploit someone”, which he denied.
Speaking about why he was “negligent” in a previous relationship, he said it was because he was “desperate”.
In a video he made about the 2019 allegations, Charles made a promise to be careful going forward.
But as time went on, he says in his latest video, he began to “ignore the red flags again”.
He ended his video vowing to be more vigilant in the future and stopped treating his accounts on social media as dating apps.
Similar YouTuber Cases
Allegations – and acceptance – of sexual misconduct by YouTubers have become very common.
In 2019, YouTube removed Austin Jones artist channel, after he agreed he had exchanged sexually explicit images and videos with minors.
David Dobrik, one of YouTube’s top earners in 2020, recently had his channel demonized by YouTube following allegations of rape by a former member.
Mr Dobrik has denied any wrongdoing.