On November 5, young singer and actor Aaron Carter was found unresponsive in a bathtub at his Lancaster, California home. Not long after, Carter was declared dead at just 34 years old. Many were shocked by his passing, but Carter had struggled for years with substance abuse and mental illness, and sadly his struggles were often made public.
Not long after his death, many of those who knew Carter took to social media to share their heartbreak, including Carter’s ex and Disney Channel star Hilary Duff.
For Aaron – I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in-front of the whole world. You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent… boy did my teenage self love you deeply.
Sending love to your family at this time.
Rest easy ❤️
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Earlier in the day, Aaron’s older brother, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, shared a touching tribute to his brother. Nick and his brother had a very tumultuous relationship the last few years of Aaron’s life, with Nick even taking out a restraining order — but that did not lessen the love he had for his younger sibling.
My heart is broken. Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. I have always held on to the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed.
Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss, but the truth is that addiction and mental illness are the real villains here. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you baby brother.
Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss, but the truth is that addiction and mental illness are the real villains here. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you baby brother. pic.twitter.com/jqo9T0DnnQ— Nick Carter (@nickcarter) November 6, 2022
Alongside Duff, fellow Disney Channel actress Christy Carlson Romano — who starred in the hit show Even Stevens — shared her anger at the system that she believes failed Aaron Carter. Romano has been open about her own struggles with alcoholism.
The sober mom in me is done seeing people I grew up with pass too soon or have mental distress because of a broken system.
The sober mom in me is done seeing people I grew up with pass too soon or have mental distress because of a broken system.— ChristyCarlsonRomano (@ChristyRomano) November 5, 2022
Carter and Duff dated off and on between 2000 and 2003. Carter also guest-starred on a special episode of Duff’s show, Lizzie McGuire, where he played himself, looking for a place to film his new music video.
The late singer leaves behind a young son, who was born last November.