Nick Carter remembers his ‘baby brother’ Aaron Carter

NEW YORK (AP) – The day after 34-year-old singer Aaron Carter was found dead at his Southern California home, Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter remembered his younger brother, saying that despite “a complicated relationship” his love for him “never faltered.”

In a post on Sunday on Instagram with photos of the two over the years, Nick Carter said he was heartbroken after the death of the youngest of five Carter siblings, whom he called his “baby brother.”

“My heart has been broken today,” Carter wrote. “Although my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never faded. I always held onto the hope that somehow he would want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help he so desperately needed.”

Deputies responded around 11 a.m. Saturday after reports of a medical emergency at Carter’s home in Lancaster, California. Authorities said a caretaker found a man in the bathtub at the home and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Carter had struggled with substance abuse and mental health. In 2017, he attended rehab and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and charged with marijuana. In 2019, Carter said on an episode of the talk show “The Doctors” that he was taking medication for acute anxiety, manic depression and multiple personality disorder. That same year, Nick and Angel, Aaron’s twin sister, said they filed for a restraining order against Aaron.

In September, Carter said he entered rehab for the fifth time hoping to regain custody of his young son, Prince, with his fiancee Melanie Martin. At the time, Prince was in the court-ordered care of Martin’s mother.

“Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss. But the truth is that addiction and mental illness is the real villain here,” Nick Carter wrote in the post. “I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you Chizz, now you get a chance to finally have some peace you could never find here on earth. God, please watch over my little brother.”

In 2012, their sister, Leslie Carter, died after falling in the shower in 2012 at the age of 25. Authorities said she had suffered an overdose of prescription drugs. Carter once said he felt his family partly blamed him for her death.

Carter, a singer, rapper and actor, opened for the Backstreet Boys tour in 1997, the same year his gold-selling debut self-titled album was released. He reached triple platinum status with his second album, 2000’s “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” which produced hit singles including the title track and “I Want Candy.”

Carter’s acting credits included the television show “Lizzie McGuire” and an appearance on “Dancing With the Stars.” He co-starred with his brother, Nick, and their siblings BJ, Leslie and Angel Carter on the E! unscripted series “House of Carters” in 2006.

Hilary Duff, who starred in “Lizzie McGuire,” remembered Carter as having a “bubbly” charm and said her “teenage self” loved him dearly. “I am deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to fight in front of the whole world,” she wrote on Instagram.

Angel Carter, his twin sister, also responded on social media. “My funny sweet Aaron, I have so many memories of you and I and I promise to cherish them,” she wrote on Instagram. “I know you are at peace now. I will carry you with me until the day I die and see you again.”

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