James Charles's Brother Ian Isn't Dead, Despite What You May Have Heard

"Just downloaded this app and immediately saw a video saying I was dead," Ian wrote, along with a video of himself drinking a smoothie.


Apr. 18 2024, Published 10:26 a.m. ET

Ian Charles takes a selfie in Paris.
Source: Instagram/@ianjeffrey

Another day, another death hoax that seems to be spreading across the internet for no great reason. This time, rumors are swirling that beauty influencer James Charles's brother Ian has died. While that would be a tragedy if it were true, it seems to be just the latest online rumor based on little hard evidence.

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Naturally, though, many saw the rumor online and wanted to know whether anything had happened to Ian to make the report seem more plausible. Here's what we know about Ian, and about why the rumors about him started spreading to begin with.

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What happened to James Charles's brother?

Although rumors had been spreading online that suggested that Ian had died, the rumors thankfully aren't true. In fact, James weighed in to make things super clear, sharing a photo of his brother walking down the street as confirmation that he was still alive.

The rumor apparently started spreading on TikTok, and multiple conspiracy theories popped up pretty quickly that speculated about what could have happened to Ian.

Ian also responded to the rumors, posting about it on Instagram. "Just downloaded this app and immediately saw a video saying I was dead," Ian wrote, along with a video of himself drinking a smoothie. The rumor mill also prompted Ian to join TikTok, just days before his brother's new single "Can We Just Be Friends" is set to be released.

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James and Ian Charles didn't have a good relationship the death hoax.

Before Ian created his own reel about the controversy, fans were flooding the comments on James's various channels asking him about what happened to his brother and whether he was OK.

James and Ian weren't known to have a good relationship before this controversy. James claimed that he stopped talking to Ian in 2021 after he discovered that Ian had been messaging underage boys.

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James initially ignored the online uproar directed at his brother, in large part because he believed the boys his brother was talking to were 18.

"I've never been more disgusted in my life than when I found out that kid was 16 years old. I was mortified, absolutely mortified," James said during an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2023.

Ian is far from the first person to face online death rumors.

Although the death rumors around Ian feature a target that's slightly more obscure than average, death hoaxes are an increasingly common part of life online. When it's hard to find verifiable sources of information, it becomes incredibly easy for any person with an account to say that someone has died, and even create a plausible backstory for how the death might have occurred.

While death rumors can sometimes be true, you should be careful to check real news sources before you spread the rumors further. Ian is alive and well, and thankfully no one seems to have been seriously damaged by this rumor, but that doesn't mean it would have been wise to spread it.

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