For years, Tati Westbrook was a go-to resource on YouTube for makeup advice, product recommendations, and tutorials. As one of the first beauty vloggers to make a career out of posting, Tati was a mentor to many, including James Charles.
In 2019, Tati posted her infamous "BYE SISTER" video (which has since been deleted), which detailed the demise of her relationship with James Charles.
About a year later, Tati posted "Breaking My Silence...," and she backtracked on many of the accusations she had against her former mentee.
After she broke her silence, Tati took another long break from YouTube. Behind the scenes, she was dealing with much more than just beauty community drama.
In October of 2020, Tati and her husband, James Westbrook, were sued by their Halo Beauty Inc. business partner, Clark Swanson. The YouTuber opened up about the ongoing litigation in her most recent return to vlogging: "A Year Later..."
Tati Westbrook opened up about the lawsuit with Clark Swanson: "Litigation is expensive."
Like many who make it big on YouTube, Tati capitalized on her large following by launching Halo Beauty Inc. in 2018. The company specializes in vitamin supplements for hair, nails, and skin, and boosters for immunity and nourishment.
According to Insider, Tati, James Westbrook, and Clark Swanson were the co-owners of the brand. Clark sued the married duo in October of 2020 for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud.
Clark alleged that he originally owned 50 percent of the company (and Tati and James owned 25 percent each). He claimed that he agreed to shift the ownership structure to 33 percent each under the agreement that Halo Beauty would be an umbrella company for all of Tati's future beauty ventures.
However, he said, Tati instead decided to launch her brand, Tati Beauty, with Seed Beauty, a different company. He believes that he lost out on $16 million in profits from this collaboration.
For months, Tati did not comment on the lawsuit. In her return to vlogging, she opened up for the first time about what she was going through. Tati said that she had been wanting to post videos for quite some time, but that she was too occupied with her legal issues.
"I am still currently, actively, today, going through litigation. It is overwhelming," she shared in "A Year Later..." "I am going to keep fighting the good fight for the truth and for justice. And [this is] something that just blindsided me. Imagine you are ready to get back to it, you're like, 'I'm back in. We're going to just let all the drama go.' And all of a sudden, I am involved in this crazy lawsuit, and it's made very public."
She then explained the legal drama from her point of view.
"My business partner in Halo Beauty, Clark Swanson, back in October [of 2020] filed a lawsuit for $30 million..." Tati continued, before adding that the company was "thriving" at that point. "This was just really mind-blowing to have happen."
The makeup guru said that she didn't feel right returning to YouTube amid the lawsuit drama.
She then accused Clark of "feeding disparaging information to drama channels" about the legal issues and about herself and her husband, James Westbrook. Tati said that this began in the spring of 2020, and that she felt that it was "embarrassing."
The content creator admitted that she isn't sure what the future will hold for her, but that the lawsuit has been very costly.
"I don't know what's going to happen. I could lose everything. I kind of made the choice in my mind that, if I do, I'll find a way to rebuild...." Tati said.
"Litigation is expensive. Let me just be raw and open," she said about the shift in her lifestyle. "We sold our house in L.A. I moved out of my condo. I have downsized my life in a major way to really be able to go all in and support what's happening with me through this litigation."
Tati noted that the lawsuit has allowed her to see beyond material goods.
"My integrity is more important," she shared.
The financial burden wasn't the only thing that affected Tati and her husband.
The YouTube star shared that she almost divorced James Westbrook during this time.
While Tati's fans weren't surprised that the lawsuit had taken a toll on her life in many respects, they were shocked to learn that it almost cost the influencer her marriage.
She confirmed that the stress created a "crack" in her marriage, and that she and James were actually apart at the end of 2020.
"During this very, very stressful time in my life, James and I almost got divorced," she said. "We could not be around each other; he got his own place. We were separated during the holidays. It was a sad time."
For a while, Tati didn't think that her marriage would survive all of the stress.
"I did not think we were going to work it out," she admitted. "I thought that there was no hope."
The two were able to reconcile, though Tati lost her wedding ring in the process. The YouTuber concluded her video by asking her fans not to make predictions about her future. She did request that they send prayers her way.
Tati hinted that she would be posting more regularly on YouTube again.