James Charles sued by ex-employee who says he was racist and discriminatory

Lily Wakefield May 13, 2021
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James Charles

James Charles. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/WireImage)

YouTuber James Charles is being sued by a former employee who is claiming she was overworked, underpaid and that the beauty vlogger used racist language in front of her.

Charles’ former producer, creative director and “right hand person” Kelly Rocklein filed the lawsuit against him two years ago, after working for him for around six months in 2018.

She is suing the controversial YouTuber, who recently admitted to messaging 16-year-old boys on social media, for wrongful termination, disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, and failure to pay minimum wage for overtime hours worked.

According to Insider, she has also alleged that he used the N-word in front of her multiple times.

Rocklein said she initially wanted to privately settle with Charles, but that he and his legal representation refused, forcing her in March last year to file a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

In her complaint, Rocklein said she was required to work 12-hour days, seven days a week, and was never paid for overtime.

When she suffered a head injury that caused “headaches, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, and amnesia”, she said she was reprimanded by Charles, who “accused her of not being dedicated to her job as a result of her work being delayed while she was hospitalised”. Rocklein claims she was fired after returning from time off for the injury.

Charles posted a video to Twitter on Monday (May 10) addressing the lawsuit.

He claimed he feels like he’s being “blackmailed”, and that Rocklein’s claims were “ridiculous, absurd and untrue”. Charles added that he believed Rocklein was speaking out about her experience to pressure him into settling for more money.

“Contrary to popular belief I have never paid anybody to speak or not speak about me, and this will not be the first time that I do it,” he said.

“My only option is to pursue this to the fullest extent of the law and hope that when it gets to a courtroom, justice will be served.”

Rocklein’s legal team told Insider that Charles had, in fact, offered a settlement to their client to “buy her silence”.

Charles’ manager, Sam Mangan, said in a statement: “James made a reasonable settlement offer for an employment lawsuit, she countered with an outrageous amount of money to settle and to retract her public statements, James wasn’t willing to pay her off.”

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