Aaron Carter gave a candid interview for Saturday’s Oprah: Where Are They Now?, where he admitted that he turned to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for depression he experienced after his parents’ divorce and his time on Dancing with the Stars.
The 28-year-old former child star competed in season 9 of the hit ABC dancing competition, which aired in the fall of 2009. He and his dancing partner Karina Smirnoff placed fifth on the show.
“I loved my family being together,” Aaron explained, of his depression. “I did not want to see them divorce. I just couldn’t dwell on it. I couldn’t think about it too much — I had to block it out.”
But when Dancing with the Stars came calling, Aaron felt invigorated. He was hopeful the appearance would lead to a pop music comeback.
Despite new management and meetings with heavy-hitting producers and record executives, “nothing ever came into fruition.”
“They didn’t want to touch me,” Aaron said. “They didn’t want to do anything.”
It was then that Carter reached for the bottle.
“I started getting really heavy into drinking and was telling people, ‘I’m on a real bad path right now. I need help,’ ” he explained.
In 2011, Aaron checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California “to heal some emotional and spiritual issues he was dealing with,” his manager at the time, Johnny Wright, previously said in a statement.
He said he’s been on the straight and narrow ever since.
His sister, Leslie, wasn’t so lucky. She died on Jan. 31, 2012 of a drug overdose. She was 25 years old.
Aaron said he had reached out to his sister to get her help, but couldn’t get her the money for rehab in time. Her death helped put some of his pains into perspective.
“Out of all the experiences that happened with my sister’s passing,” Aaron revealed. “I just learned that life means so much to me — more than just money and fame.”