Tati Westbrook—a beauty YouTuber I successfully stopped paying attention to in June after she posted a juicy 40-minute vlog titled “BREAKING MY SILENCE..,” which alleged demon YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star gaslighted her into accusing makeup influencer James Charles of sexual misconduct—is back in the news. Couldn’t this wait until after the election?
According to Buzzfeed, Westbrook and her husband have been sued by Clark Swanson, their business partner in her Halo Beauty supplement brand, for fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty. Swanson alleges that he owned 50 percent of the company but after the 2017 launch, Westbrook and her husband requested a bigger share—33.3 percent each, allowing them to have the majority stake—and in exchange, “the Westbrooks would commit to use Halo Beauty as Ms. Westbrook’s umbrella brand for all her beauty launches—cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, all of Tati Westbrook’s beauty products. Mr. Swanson agreed to these terms,” the lawsuit reads. Westbrook did go on to create more product, but did so under the “Tati Beauty” brand in 2019, manufactured by Seed Beauty—not Halo Beauty—effectively cutting Swanson out of the deal. Naturally, he feels as though she has “neglect[ed]” Halo Beauty, Buzzfeed reports, and is seeking unspecified damages from Westbrook, her husband, and Halo Beauty.
Westbrook’s lawyer Douglas Fuchs shared a statement with E! News: “Clark Swanson’s lawsuit is meritless... his absurd claim that Tati Westbrook granted him one-third of her name, image and likeness for all time in exchange for a modest initial capital contribution. Swanson’s claim is not only baseless, it is offensive and defies common sense,” he said. “This is particularly true given that Swanson has received millions in profit distributions from Halo Beauty, almost exclusively due to the Westbrooks’ efforts. Tati and James will vigorously defend this lawsuit and are confident that the truth will come out and they will prevail.”
According to E!, Swanson also alleges, “Ms. Westbrook claimed that the product did not matter, she could still sell a ‘shit product’ to her loyal followers,” the suit reads, and that she told him fellow YouTubers Jeffree Star, Manny Mua, James Charles and Laura Lee would promote her product. Obviously that wasn’t the case: Charles endorsed Halo Beauty’s direct competitor, SugarBearHair, during Coachella 2019, kickstarting the never-ending YouTube beef with Charles, Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star dubbed “Dramaggeddon 2.0.” by fans. And so, in the suit, Swanson claims Westbrook “actively interfered with Mr. Swanson’s efforts to grow Halo Beauty.” He also believes Westbrook’s husband “distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating income” from Halo Beauty, “a further attempt to devalue and destroy Halo Beauty by looting company coffers in advance of a lawsuit,” the suit reads, according to Business Insider.
Westbrook has yet to comment publicly, but if she does (and if her lawyers clear her to do so), I fully expect it to be in an hour-long monetized vlog—because what’s the point of drama if you don’t make bank from it?