The founder of global makeup brand Too Faced, which was bought by Estée Lauder in 2016, has fired his sister from the business after she accused YouTube beauty influencer Nikkie de Jager - AKA Nikkie Tutorials - of "lying" about her gender.
Jerrod Blandino was forced to distance himself from his sister, Dani California, after she took to Instagram with accusations that de Jager was being dishonest about her trans identity.
“Transgender, huh?" She wrote, Insider reports. "That’s not the only thing she’s been LYING about.”
The war of words began on Monday, when de Jager uploaded a 17-minute video telling her 12 million YouTube subscribers that she's a trans woman. Despite being met with support and positivity among her fan base, the circumstances around the her coming out were unclear, with de Jager claiming that her hand was forced by a blackmail threat.
The video has currently been viewed more than 26 million times.
“I hope that me standing up and being free, it inspires you to do the same” de Jager said in the video, explaining that she started wearing girls’ clothes when she was 7 or 8 years-old and later began hormone therapy, before she "fully transitioned" at 19 years-old.
In a statement shared through Too Faced's social media channels, Blandino, who is now the company’s Chief Creative Officer, wrote: “Although I love my sister very much, the things she says or does have absolutely nothing to do with me and do not in any way reflect me, my opinions, thoughts, or feelings nor speak for me or Too Faced in any way shape or form.
“I have always stood for love, equality and kindness in my life and everything I do. I am sorry for the hurt she has caused."
He continued: “Let it be known that I am truly shocked and disgusted to my core at her recent actions.’ do not tolerate this behaviour and she is no longer an employee of Too Faced.
“I would like to say how proud I am of Nikkie Tutorials, and how inspired I am for her strength and sharing her beautiful truth with the world. I am sending all my love to her. ”
Meanwhile, de Jager thanked her fans for their support, tweeting: "I’ll never be able to put into words what these last few days have been like. Thank you for accepting me and teaching me that on the other side of fear lies freedom."