Following all her drama with fellow YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffrey Starr, Tati Westbrook is now in the centre of a new fracas.
According to court documents obtained by E! News, the YouTube personality and husband James Westbrook are being sued by a former business partner who’s accusing the couple of fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and gross negligence in reference to his business relationship with their vitamin line, Halo Beauty.
In a lawsuit filed by Clark Swanson, the couple’s former business partner, he claims to have originally owned 50 percent of the nutritional supplements company, while the couple owned the remaining 50 percent.
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Prior to Halo Beauty’s official launch in 2018, however, Swanson claims the couple made him an offer; if he gave then “two-thirds of the business” they would then “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.”
In his suit, Swanson alleges that “Ms. Westbrook claimed that the product did not matter, she could still sell a ‘s–t product’ to her loyal followers.” In addition, Swanson claims that Tati promised that “fellow YouTube personalities like Jeffree Star, Manny Mua, James Charles and Laura Lee would endorse the product, claiming they turned down lucrative advertising deals with rival competitor Sugar Bear Hair out of loyalty to her.”
However, his suit adds, “Ms. Westbrook’s claim to influence was undercut when James Charles endorsed Sugar Bear Hair in an April 22, 2019 ‘swipe up’ Instagram story.”
In addition, Swanson contends, “On May 10, 2019, Ms. Westbrook posted a video ‘Bye Sister,’ accusing Mr. Charles of inappropriate sexual conduct,” which further “undercut” her earlier promises.
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Meanwhile, Swanon alleges that when he met with makeup manufacturers and other members of the cosmetics industry, the couple “actively interfered with Mr. Swanson’s efforts to grow Halo Beauty.”
Then, Swanson’s lawsuit alleges, Tati Westbrook launched her own separate beauty brand “without his knowledge,” and includes a letter he sent to James Westbrook.
“Tati Fragrance is a product line that we contemplated when we formed Halo and again when I gave you and Tati the controlling interest in the business. Even if you are right that Tati Fragrance could be good for Halo, there is no way it is better for Halo than having Halo own and operate the Fragrance piece of the business. As an officer/member/owner of Halo, I don’t think that any of us can in good faith claim that any other course of action would be in the best interests of Halo. Please reconsider in light of Tati and your obligations to Halo,” the letter reads.
Swanson is requesting the case go to trial, and is seeking unspecified damages from the Westbrooks.