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Jaclyn Hill Addresses Marlena Stell & Jen Gerard Business Accusations: “My Intention Was Never Ever to Hurt Either of You”

Jaclyn Hill Addresses Marlena Stell & Jen Gerard Business Accusations: “My Intention Was Never Ever to Hurt Either of You”

Jaclyn Hill is standing up for herself amid ongoing accusations from former business associates.

The beauty YouTube mogul has taken to Reddit to respond to Marlena Stell, owner of Makeup Geek, and Jen Gerard, owner of Gerard Cosmetics, who have both spoken out about Jaclyn’s business practices in recent months.

Jaclyn shared screenshots from emails and text conversations with both women alongside a lengthy post explaining her side of their respective stories.

On May 18th, Marlena went on The Sesh podcast with Kendall Rae and Janelle Fields to “expose” the YouTube beauty community. Marlena is an OG YouTube creator and the founder of the beauty brand Makeup Geek, which closed its doors in 2022.

Throughout the episode, Marlena spoke openly about her falling out with Jaclyn.

She claimed that Jaclyn screwed her over on a Makeup Geek collaboration years ago, putting the brand $4 million in the hole, which contributed to its closing.

Marlena also said that she introduced Jaclyn to connections within product development and manufacturing when she was first thinking about launching her own beauty brand and that Jaclyn essentially ghosted her as a friend after that.

Most damaging, however, were Marlena’s claims about Jaclyn’s 2019 lipstick launch that rocked the beauty community, alleging that Jaclyn and Morphe were aware of the sanitation issues at the lab used to make the lipstick range because Marlena had warned them not to work with that facility.

They chose to do so anyway because it was the cheaper option.

Earlier this week, Jen also appeared on The Sesh podcast and spoke about her history with Jaclyn.

While their relationship was initially positive, Jen told Kendall and Janelle that she began to notice some “red flags” and “some behaviour [she] didn’t approve of” around 2015.

This came to a head when Jen went to New York with Jaclyn and her team. “It was a lot of jealousy towards other YouTubers that were kind of in the same space and the same, you know, [subscriber] count area…,” Jen said. “I just attributed that to, like, high school-type stuff that didn’t become that much of a red flag until after then I looked at I was like, oh.”

The founder claimed that things started to go downhill after Jen was caught up in a scandal with Karina Kaboom, a beauty creator who eventually became a tea channel. 

Months after the scandal had died down, Jen claimed she received an “extremely nasty email” from Jaclyn.

“I received this email from Jaclyn stating that she did not want things to get “dirty” or “messy” in ending our collaborations and demanding $250,000. It felt like extortion to me considering her commission was well above industry standard of 10-15% AND she was getting royalties,” Jen shared. “I was very hurt and felt betrayed by someone I thought I had a close relationship with… When I stated that was not part of the agreement and denied the $250k, she proceeded to make a video about me and my brand, which greatly damaged my reputation.”

Jen said she believed Jaclyn sent this email months later because she saw it as an opportunity to “cut her loose” when she had better collaboration offers on the table.

In Jaclyn’s lengthy Reddit post, she defended herself against Marlena and Jen’s claims.

Jaclyn said she was under the impression that she had ended her working relationship with Makeup Geek on good terms and that Marlena had “a plan in place for the palettes and shades and it wouldn’t be an issue moving forward.”

“If you had told me then that it would be a brand closing situation, we would have made it work, but from our phone conversation and the email you wrote after, I truly thought it was fine,” she wrote.

Jaclyn also denied working with the lab that Marlena warned her about.

“I did not work with the lab you think I did in Los Angeles for my lipsticks that you warned me about. I noted that to you when you posted a video saying that you warned me about the lab, but after that text, clearing up that I didn’t use that lab, you blocked me. For reference, I actually worked with the lab you intro’d me to and recommended to me based in FL,” she said.

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In addressing Jen’s claims that Jaclyn sent a “nasty email” demanding money from Gerard Cosmetics before parting ways, Jaclyn said it was because the brand wanted to continue to use her name and likeness.

“I’d request an overall buyout vs. monthly affiliates,” she wrote. “As you know, I had made over $600K with you through my affiliates / creating lip products with you, so I was correlating the $250K payment with the inventory leftover only IF you wanted to continue to use my name and likeness. I had noted (attached) that if you went on to sell without my name and likeness, then we could separate amicably (which is what I also noted I preferred). In terms of how we ended, you did end up removing my name and likeness in connection with the products, so there was no need for payment. We did reach out once- as there were active banner ads using my name and likeness years later, but that was it in terms of our conversations.”

Jaclyn ended the post by saying if she could go back, she would “handle things differently, but I can’t.”

“I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life & my intention was never ever to hurt either of you. I hope you truly know that. However, even though that wasn’t my intention, that’s what happened, and I apologize for that. I wish you both the best in terms of Jen continuing on with Gerard Cosmetics and Marlena with your new brand,” Jaclyn finished.

Jen responded to Jaclyn’s post on Twitter, calling it “gaslighting.

Marlena has not responded at the time of writing

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