She's sticking up for her ex.
Aaron Carter's death shocked the world on Nov. 5 when he passed at age 34. In the days since, an outpouring of tributes for the late singer followed, including an emotional statement from the pop star's ex-girlfriend, Hilary Duff. And Duff isn’t finished standing up for her former flame. Now, she's calling the publisher of a new Aaron Carter memoir "heartless" for allegedly capitalizing on Carter's death.
Carter's memoir, Aaron Carter: An Incomplete Story of an Incomplete Life, is set to be published on Nov. 15 by Ballast Books, ten days after his death. Andy Symonds wrote the book after he spent three years interviewing Carter, according to E! News. Symonds is the president and publisher of Ballast Books, per the company's website. In a statement to E! News, Duff said, "It's really sad that within a week of Aaron's death, there's a publisher that seems to be recklessly pushing a book out to capitalize on this tragedy without taking appropriate time or care to fact check the validity of his work."
Duff went on to decry the publishing of Carter's memoir in her statement saying, "To water down Aaron's life story to what seems to be unverified click-bait for profit is disgusting. In no way do I condone shedding any light on what is so obviously an uninformed, heartless, money grab."
Duff and Carter dated between 2001 to 2003, and Carter even guest-starred in an iconic episode of Lizzie McGuire as himself. During their on-again, off-again relationship, Carter also famously dated Lindsay Lohan. The Falling For Christmas star also shared a heartfelt tribute for Carter after learning of his passing.
Carter's representatives thanked Duff for her statement and echoed her sentiment. In a statement to The New York Post, Taylor Helgeson of Big Umbrella Management said, "We as Aaron's management would like to thank Hilary Duff for her statement regarding the book that is set to be released … This is a time for mourning and reflection, not heartless money grabs and attention seeking."
Helgeson added that they have had to deal with "obscenely disrespectful and unauthorized releases, including an album titled Blacklisted, a single titled ‘Lately,’ and now a book." They requested "no further content be released without approval from his family, friends, and associates."
Ballast Books' Symonds responded with a counterstatement to Entertainment Tonight on Nov. 11. The statement said, "Aaron Carter hired me to help him tell the world his story. That story, while tragically cut short, was filled with good and bad. His life was far from pretty, and understandably certain people in the public eye don't want some of the stories Aaron tells in his book to come to light. That doesn't make them any less true or newsworthy. Aaron had a right—as we all do—to tell his story. As a journalist, I am honored that he chose me to help him do that. In addition to being cathartic for him, Aaron hoped this book would help others struggling with addiction and mental illness. I hope and believe it will do that." Carter was open about his struggles with substance abuse and mental health in his later years.
The "I Want Candy" singer was also the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter. The band performed a tribute for Carter during a London concert on Nov. 6, where Nick broke down in tears on stage for his late brother. Nick had previously shared an Instagram post dedicated to his brother. He wrote, "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."