YouTube’s James Charles dealt with a loss of revenue last month when allegations arose claiming he had been flirting with teenaged boys during his time as an adult social media star. This month he’s back in the presses following accusations from a former assistant and producer for his YouTube work who says Charles asked her to shave his butt among other notable requests before being let go. Kelly Rocklein is now suing, alleging wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation.
The lawsuit in question from Kelly Rocklein says the two worked together for six months in 2018. Two years ago, Rocklein filed a lawsuit stating that she suffered a head injury during her employment. She says she was hospitalized after the incident and that James Charles was not understanding when her work wasn’t timely and she was terminated. The lawsuit also states that James Charles was uninhibited around her and would walk around naked. The suit also alleges he called Kelly Rocklein “bitch” and ahead of Coachella, asked her to help him shave his butt.
For his part, James Charles paused his hiatus on social media to respond to the accusations. He spoke out in a lengthy video posted to Twitter about the “ongoing lawsuit," saying the team is small and “well taken care of” and that Rocklein would have made $72,000 dollars a year as a producer when the YouTube account was just starting to really grow had she been able to stick with the job. Per Charles:
The fact that this is even attempting to become a narrative makes me sick to my stomach because it is wildly, wildly untrue. I’m so grateful for the people around me. The case also makes it seem like she’s just trying to get back the wages that she should have been paid for her work, which I wish were true, because in reality this suit is for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the video, James Charles asserts that the accusations are untrue and that there has been two years for the other party to speak out while the lawsuit has continued, also saying that since he has not settled yet, it feels like “pressure” this is all coming out now. Rocklein’s lawyer told NBC News that the lawsuit in question was not an example of blackmail, saying “There is no truth to any blackmail.”
First and foremost I need to say sorry. I owe a massive apology to anybody I’ve hurt or anybody I made uncomfortable with my actions. I also want to say sorry to my friends, family and fans who have to watch another one of these videos because you shouldn’t have to and this is really, really embarrassing… I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong. There’s no excuse for them and I don’t plan on making any [sic] either.
Since then, James Charles has been largely silent on all social media platforms, but made an exception earlier this week to address the claims in the lawsuit. Charles also cracked that his followers are probably tired of this type of video at this point. We’ll keep you updated as the lawsuit progresses through the court system.