Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter spoke out Sunday for the first time since the death of his brother, saying that he hoped he had found peace.
Aaron Carter died at age 34 on Saturday at his home in Lancaster, California. For years, the singer and onetime teen heartthrob had publicly struggled with drug use and his mental health. His difficult relationship with his family at times led to public feuds and, at one point, a restraining order.
Nick on Sunday acknowledged their "complicated" relationship as he opened up about his grief.
"My heart has been broken today," Nick wrote on Instagram. "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 is the real villain here.
"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 take care of my baby brother," he added.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department told BuzzFeed News on Saturday that they responded to a death at Aaron's home.
A representative confirmed his death. "We are extremely saddened and shocked to confirm the passing of Aaron Carter today," the representative said in a statement to NBC News. "At the moment, his cause of death is being investigated. We ask that you give the family time, and they will have more information when available. We cannot express the outpouring of love coming in."
On Sunday his twin sister, Angel Conrad, also posted a tribute to her brother on her Instagram.
"To my, twin… I loved you beyond measure," she wrote. "You will be missed dearly. My funny, sweet Aaron, I have so many memories of you and I, and I promise to cherish them. I know you're at peace now. I will carry you with me until the day I die and get to see you again. 💔"
After releasing pop hits and becoming a fixture on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, Aaron fell from the limelight as he grew older and faced a variety of drug and legal issues. He was arrested at least twice on drug and DUI charges, entered rehab several times, and had to file for bankruptcy.
On The Doctors in September 2019, he said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression, and anxiety and was taking medication to treat the illnesses.
His public feud with Nick started when their sister Leslie Carter died of an overdose in 2012. Aaron criticized his brother for not attending the funeral, and Nick later said it was because his family was "blaming [him] for the death."
In 2019, Nick and Angel took out a restraining order against their brother. In a statement on Twitter, Nick said his brother had recently confessed "that he harbors thoughts and intentions of killing [Nick's] pregnant wife and unborn child" and that he was trying to protect his family.
"We love our brother and truly hope he gets the proper treatment he needs before any harm comes to himself or anyone else," Nick wrote.
In response, Aaron tweeted at the time that he was "astounded" by the charges and did not "wish harm to anyone, especially my family."
Hilary Duff, who dated Aaron when they were teenagers after he guest-starred on Lizzie McGuire, also shared an emotional tribute to him Sunday.
"I'm deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in-front of the whole world," she wrote. "You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent."