Feuds that rocked the YouTube world

Life in the public eye can be difficult, and no one knows it better than YouTube stars. While having a popular YouTube channel has its benefits, it also means that a person's life is lived out almost entirely in the spotlight and on social media. When things go wrong, relationships break up, or friendships break down, there's seemingly only one place to turn — the internet. 

While James Charles' fallout with fellow makeup artist Tati Westbrook dominated headlines in 2019, YouTube has faced much more drama throughout its short existence. From Jake Paul's complicated "Team 10" antics and the well-documented dissolution of Jeffree Star's friendship with fellow beauty mogul Kat Von D to Nicole Arbour drawing repeated criticism, YouTubers have regularly aired their beef in the public sphere. Let's dish the dirt and take a look at some of the biggest feuds that rocked the YouTube world ... only some of which have been resolved to date.

James Charles and Tati Westbrook went to war

Makeup artist and YouTuber Tati Westbrook appeared to sever ties with her former close friend and protégé, James Charles, in her legendary "Bye Sister" video in May 2019. While their feud began weeks earlier when Charles promoted the SugarBearHair gummy vitamin brand on Instagram in direct rivalry with Westbrook's own line, the Halo Beauty founder made several allegations about Charles' behavior. Claiming that he'd "tried to trick a straight man into thinking he's gay," Westbrook noted that it made her "want to vomit" that he'd allegedly attempt to "manipulate someone's sexuality."

As a result of these damaging claims, Charles lost nearly three million YouTube subscribers, dropping from over 16.5 million to about 13.8 million (via Newsweek). After deleting his initial apology video, which was titled "Tati," Charles rebutted Westbrook's allegations in another clip called "No More Lies." As of this writing in June 2019, his YouTube subscriber count is back up to over 15.5 million, suggesting that he gradually gained most of his fans back after their feud simmered down. For her part, Westbrook announced her decision to take a temporary break from YouTube amid the fallout, tweeting, "There won't be a video tomorrow. My heart is still too heavy."

Jake Paul and Alissa Violet's very public breakup

Anyone who's ever dated a colleague knows that things can get very messy, very fast if the relationship doesn't work out. Unfortunately, YouTubers Jake Paul and Alissa Violet are perfect examples of this theory. When the two moved into a house together with members of "Team 10," fans thought that Paul and Violet's relationship must have been going great. However, their public falling-out began when Violet suggested their relationship was on a downward spiral in February 2017. "Jake rhymes with snake!" she tweeted alongside a snake emoji, later adding, "It f**king sucks being so emotionally damaged by a person who you thought would always be there for you."

According to Seventeen, things quickly escalated when Violet claimed she was being thrown out of the house they shared in a since-deleted YouTube video. After Paul alleged in a later-removed tweet that she'd cheated on him, Violet refuted the claim in a text-post. Attempting to set the record straight, she tweeted in part, "I did not cheat. Jalissa was never real. Jake had girl after girl over every other night." She added, "I have cried myself to sleep almost every single night, living in this house." 

Basically, Paul and Violet's entire relationship was documented on YouTube and social media ... including its demise. RIP love.

Jake Paul then took on FaZe Banks

Months after his split from Alissa Violet made headlines, it seemed Jake Paul couldn't quite let their failed relationship go. According to Seventeen, he alleged in a since-deleted August 2017 video that his assistant, Meg, had been assaulted by Violet's new boyfriend, FaZe Banks, at the Warwick club in Los Angeles. As the magazine reported, Meg claimed that she was on her way back to her group of friends from the restroom when Banks allegedly "clotheslined her so hard in an effort to pull her into their party-space that he knocked the wind out of her and left a nasty bruise on her neck."

For his part, Banks uploaded a response video shortly after, in which he began with, "99% of what [Jake Paul] said in his video was absolutely fabricated and not true." He even went on to suggest that he might have been drugged on the night in question due to his out-of-character behavior, but ultimately denied assaulting anyone from Paul's team. Banks was later joined by Violet, who made several allegations of her own against ex-boyfriend Paul, saying, "Honestly, he did assault me a few times."

While we may never know the truth of what happened that night, Paul, Violet, and Banks notably put their differences aside after running into one another at Coachella 2019. According to Banks' Twitter, "[We] had the right kind of conversation. We all decided to let the past be the past and move forward."

Jeffree Star and Kat Von D canceled their friendship

When Kat Von D accused Jeffree Star of stealing makeup artwork from her friend, these once-close makeup artists appeared to fall out for good. In July 2016, Von D publicly severed ties with Star in a since-deleted Instagram post, which read in part, "After years of making excuses for, and rationalizing Jeffree's inappropriate behaviour (including, promoting drug use, racism, and bullying) I can no longer hold my tongue after recent events" (via Cosmopolitan UK). She later explained in a YouTube video that she would "disassociate [herself] completely from him and his makeup line altogether." Von D added, "The way Jeffree chooses to live his life and treat other people is not something that I personally agree with." 

While Star has since deleted most of his original social media responses to Von D, Cosmopolitan UK reports that the makeup mogul continued to throw some serious shade at his BFF-turned-rival. As recently as December 2018, Star suggested that Von D's makeup products were going to be sold exclusively at discount retailers. Months earlier, he'd included her makeup line in his "FULL FACE OF BRANDS THAT HATE ME" video. 

Basically, it doesn't seem as though these two will be making up any time soon.

Matthew Santoro vs. Nicole Arbour

YouTube personality Matthew Santoro made headlines in January 2016 when he alleged that he'd been emotionally and physically abused in a relationship that ended the previous September. According to the Independent, Santoro detailed the breakdown of said romance in the privately-recorded (and since-deleted) video, "My Abuse Story," which he accidentally made public. "I had a panic attack one night because I couldn't handle being on eggshells with this person," he claimed in the emotional clip. Alleging that he'd also been hit in the face by his unnamed ex, Santoro added, "I left an event I was at and ended it with this person."

While Santoro never explicitly mentioned ex-girlfriend Nicole Arbour by name, the controversial YouTuber of "Dear Fat People" fame responded to the allegations in her own YouTube video, titled "Abuse Story — My Side Of Things," which was also later removed. In addition to denying the claims, Arbour alleged that Santoro shared this account due to the attention she received over her viral fat-shaming video. "It was amicable at first," she said of their split. "Until my videos started doing well, and his feelings about the breakup turned to anger, turned to a whole bunch of lies." As of this writing, neither Santoro nor Arbour have publicly shared any further updates on the matter.

James Charles won't be watching Marlena Stell's show

James Charles' explosive feud with Tati Westbrook wasn't the only time he played a role in a YouTube altercation. When fellow makeup artist Marlena Stell announced that she was collaborating on a new documentary series about the beauty industry with Netflix in September 2018, Charles took to Twitter to express his dismay, writing in part, "I posted about my documentary several months ago." The beauty influencer followed this up with, "Everything that i put my heart and love and a ton of work into is always stolen by someone else i feel so defeated right now it's insane."

However, Stell wasn't here for these claims of theft, and explained her side of the story on Twitter: @jamescharles I think it would be great to hear about your input from an influencer side as well! I didn't approach Netflix- they approached me and want to understand everything about the beauty industry. Nothing drama related. DM me privately if you would like." Making clear that the docuseries would cover all aspects of the beauty industry, not just beauty influencers, she added, "I'm sorry this feels like it was stolen but I did not seek out this opportunity. When you've been in this industry for 10+ years then tell us about your 'experience.'" Here's hoping this particular drama blows over by the time Stell's endeavor hits Netflix.

Alissa Violet erased Tessa Brooks

The short-lived feud between YouTubers Alissa Violet and Tessa Brooks appeared to be entirely related to one Jake Paul. After he and Violet split, Brooks' decision to stay close with her friend's ex-boyfriend apparently did not go down well. Following Paul's appearance in a vlog on Brooks' channel in February 2017, Just Jared Jr. reported, "Fans are also claiming that Alissa and Tessa unfollowed each other on social media." Yikes. The situation only escalated when Violet cropped Brooks out of before-and-after versions of the same photo on Twitter that May. Hinting that she'd erased her ex-bestie from her life, Violet wrote, "I am the facetune queen."

"Forgiveness is essential for healing," Brooks cryptically tweeted around that time. "Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Just let it go and move forward into your peace." After suggesting that she'd be open to making up with Violet, the duo finally made amends on — where else? — YouTube in October 2018. At the time, Violet made every fan's #Talissa dreams come true when she posted a video called "REUNITING WITH TESSA!" It looks like this feud is over for good.

Jeffree Star clashed with multiple YouTubers

Jeffree Star has feuded with several YouTubers over the years. After his platonic breakup with Kat Von D, the drama continued in late 2017 — this time with close friends Manny Gutierrez (a.k.a. Manny MUA) and Laura Lee. According to Teen Vogue, the trio began to part ways when Gutierrez and Lee started hanging out with fellow beauty vlogger Gabriel Zamora. 

Star first hinted that there was some major behind-the-scenes trouble brewing when he captioned a since-deleted Twitter pic with, "Walking into my ex-best friends funeral like," and referred to Lee's soul as "pure evil." In response, Vox reports that Zamora brought up Star's alleged history of racist remarks on Twitter. "Imagine stanning a racist? I could never," he wrote, adding, "Honey, every time I was around him he would constantly say racist things about black people." Both tweets have since been removed, but as a result, Star's fan base highlighted Lee, Gutierrez, and Zamora's own reported use of racist language. (All four beauty gurus responded with emotional apology videos.)

The move forced Zamora to reconsider his newfound friendships, and led to his reconciliation with Star and falling out with Gutierrez and Lee (via Seventeen). "I'm sorry @JeffreeStar," Zamora tweeted in August 2018. "Trust me, its been an eye opening 24 hours." After Star accepted his apology, Zamora appeared in his April 2019 makeup campaign. As for Star's former friendships with Gutierrez and Lee? That trio's clearly been over for a long time.