Nick Carter: I am drug free but alcohol addiction is ‘still a problem for me’
Nick Carter seemed to have it all as a member of the insanely popular boy band the Backstreet Boys in the 90s. But now, the 33-year-old singer is opening up about the behind-the-scenes struggles he faced, battling drug addictions during the height of his fame. Carter spoke to FOX411 about his memoir, “Facing the Music and Living to Talk About it,” and he revealed to us that he is still struggling to stay clean.
FOX411: You really have done a lot of work on yourself.
Nick Carter: I'm 33. I've made a lot of mistakes. But I'm getting some things right. I'm still trying to evolve, to learn more.
FOX411: How long have you been sober?
Carter: This is the thing: I am completely 100 percent drug free. I have, on occasion, been having drinks. The thing about it is, I still realize that it's an issue, and it's still a problem for me. It’s something that's not easy. I still have to go to therapy. I still have to get to the bottom of the reason why I have resorted to alcohol.
I'll go for a couple of months without a drink, and then I'll drink. But for the most part it's a struggle and I'm winning the battle and trying to understand what causes someone to fall back on alcohol, something that's been in my life for a very long time.
FOX411: You were 13 when you joined Backstreet Boys and you came from a very dysfunctional home. That was a recipe for disaster.
Carter: You have to be aware of how you got to this place and acknowledge your past but at the same time once you do that you have to take responsibility and put it in your own hands.
FOX411: It was a violent, screaming childhood home.
Carter: Absolutely, that was my known. But there are a lot of people out there who go through the same thing. Dysfunction with substances thrown into the mix. My message is you can do it, you can be better. That's what it's all about. You deserve better. There's nothing wrong with wanting more, with wanting to be a better person.
FOX411: You dated Paris Hilton and were very uncomfortable in her privileged world.
Carter: Yeah, it's definitely a world that I wasn't familiar with, and it's something that was extraordinary. Money and power can definitely contribute to having whatever you want and doing whatever you want. It was a little too much for me.
FOX411: What was your moment of clarity?
Carter: It was when I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize my face. I didn't know who I was. I didn't like who I was. Something deep down inside of me said I deserved better, that I need to be a better person. This was not the person God wanted me to be. This was not the person I wanted to be remembered as. From that point on, I decided to change.
FOX411: You write how you didn't go to your sister's funeral. (Sister Leslie died in February 2012 of an overdose).
Carter: When I got the phone call from my father I was on tour. I said, 'I've got to cancel the shows. It's a done deal.' And then I was blamed and I was pretty much attacked. The self preservation part of me kicked in. You can't put yourself out there, to allow yourself to be continuously kicked. That's really hard for people to accept. You have to recognize that even if it is family… you have to do what is best for you. Unfortunately at that moment I could not [go] to that funeral because I couldn't be there to mourn properly because of all the other things that were going on that had nothing to do with the passing of my sister. I couldn't put myself out there to take that, that pain.
FOX411: Do you speak to your parents?
Carter: No, not really. I became the father in the household. I became the provider, the one that everyone looked up to. The burden was on my shoulders for many years, it's still something I'm trying to break.
FOX411: Do you want kids?
Carter: Yes and that's why I was very adamant in making sure I continue to heal and I don't repeat the cycle so I can be a good father.