What Happened Between Nick and Aaron Carter? The Brothers Had a Fraught Relationship

"I have always held on to the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path," said Nick Carter about his brother.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 22 2024, Published 5:24 p.m. ET

Nick and Aaron Carter (l-r) arrive at the "3rd Annual Artist Celebration & Pre-Grammy Brunch"
Source: Getty Images

In August 2023, Angel Carter spoke with People about her deeply complicated family. Her brothers are Nick Carter and Aaron Carter. Nick rose to fame in the 1990s in the boy band Backstreet Boys, and younger brother Aaron followed suit with his own solo career. In fact, Angel and Aaron are twins. She spoke about the toll her brothers' fame took on their family; most of the focus was put on Nick and Aaron's careers while Angel and their other sisters were all but forgotten.

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Angel believes the fame and money were not necessarily the cause of their dysfunction, but it certainly didn't help. In February 2016, Aaron told Huffington Post about filing for bankruptcy at the age of 18 after discovering his parents hadn't set aside 15 percent of his earnings, which is something they were legally obligated to do. To put it succinctly, the Carter family was a mess. The same was true for Nick and Aaron, whose relationship struggled over the years. Let's take a look at what happened.

Aaron and Nick Carter arrive at the2006 MTV Movie Awards
Source: Getty Images
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Nick Carter and Aaron Carter's relationship was strained.

While guesting on the No Jumper podcast in September 2019, Aaron alleged that his brother used to pay him to drink alcohol between the ages of 11 and 15 years old. Aaron described this as a form of abuse and claimed that during this time, he got alcohol poisoning roughly 10 times.

Nearly two decades later, the brothers got into a fist fight while filming their reality show House of Carters, per People. It stands to reason this was not the first time. When asked about it at the Television Critics Association gathering in Los Angeles in July 2006, Nick wrote it off as a siblings thing. Aaron, on the other hand, seemed to take the scuffle more seriously and showed everyone a bruise on his forehead. Apparently they argued over what Nick said was a "little misinterpretation."

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Things were somewhat quiet, at least publicly, for another decade until Aaron got a DUI in July 2017. Nick took to X (formerly Twitter) in order to let his brother know he was there if he need him, per People. Aaron didn't appreciate the public nature of Nick's support and tweeted back, "If my own blood truly cared about my well-being, why wouldn't he call me directly and have a conversation instead of making this about him through a very public forum?" Nick's wife Lauren then hopped into the mix and said they no longer had Aaron's number.

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In a Sept. 13, 2019 episode of The Doctors, Aaron revealed he was addicted to huffing but said he was sober apart from smoking weed. Five days later, Nick tweeted that he and Angel had filed a restraining order against Aaron. They claimed his increasingly erratic behavior was making them feel unsafe. The Daily Beast reported that Aaron's dangerous behavior included but was not limited to allegedly telling Angel he had fantasies of killing babies and wanted to kill Nick's wife.

Earlier that same day, Aaron had tweeted that he spoke with one of Nick's accusers about the sexual assault allegations lodged against him. Aaron believed that's why his brother and sister sought the restraining order. The No Jumper podcast episode dropped eight days later. Beyond the forced drinking Aaron alleged Nick made him do, he also said he and his brother hadn't been on good terms in eight years.

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Days before he passed away in November 2022, Aaron returned to the No Jumper podcast (via Newsweek) where he apologized for supporting Nick's accuser. "Unfortunately, I tried to play God and stand up for alleged rape victim of Nick," said Aaron, "And to my brother, I would like to apologize and say I love you. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that." Aaron later added, "I just hope that relationship gets fixed … With my brother." He died before that could happen.

The day after Aaron's death, Nick posted a tribute to his brother on Instagram. Beneath a carousel of photos of them as children, Nick wrote that his heart was broken. "Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded," said Nick. "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." Nick ended the message by saying he hoped his brother finally found the peace he deserved.

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