The Impossible Task of Understanding Aaron Carter (Part 4)
The penultimate installment in a multi-part series covering the frantic final years of a dying star
A number of unsettling developments emerged concurrently in Aaron Carter’s life around mid-2019. Because of this, finding the right place to begin the arduous task of explaining the deranged drama that consumed the last years of the pop star’s life is no easy feat.
Perhaps the best place to start would be with the dogs.
Throughout the course of Aaron’s life, the most stable fixture he had was a rotating menagerie of dogs. This seems to have been the case long before the Carter family stumbled into fame and fortune. A small pack of dogs followed the MTV camera crew filming Aaron’s Cribs segment. In Jane Carter’s 2000 tell-all book, she wrote extensively about her son’s affection for dogs1. Several years down the line, dogs fueled some of the drama on House of Carters. A dog was one of the few assets Aaron fought to protect when he faced bankruptcy. During livestreams, dogs would frequently trot through the frames and bark in the distance.
So, for the casual follower, Carter’s August 2019 announcement that he’d adopted an English Bulldog named Mighty from an LA county shelter didn’t really come as much of a surprise.
What did come as a surprise was that, just days after the adoption announcement, Aaron seemingly advertised Mighty for sale on Instagram Live for a hefty $3,500 USD. Concerned viewers understandably speculated that Aaron was intentionally snatching up and subsequently upselling inexpensive shelter dogs, presumably in hopes of pocketing the difference and making a quick buck. When confronted with these allegations, Aaron protested that his words had been misconstrued and that Mighty was in fact not for sale.
But many of the passive observers that had religiously consumed hundreds of hours of the footage since Aaron’s initial foray into Periscope suddenly became…not-so-passive.
Concerned for the wellbeing of Mighty and the dozen or so dogs that had unceremoniously disappeared over the years, people took it upon themselves to notify news outlets and animal rights organizations alike of the apparent dog flipping scam. Unspecified callers began requesting welfare checks from local animal control, and Twitter threads popped up demanding to know the whereabouts of Aaron’s animals23.
2019 also marked the end of Lina Valentina and Aaron’s year-long relationship, despite his previously high hopes of starting a family. Posthumously, she cited his ongoing struggles with addiction as the catalyst for their breakup. Though far from Aaron’s first broken heart, it appears that this split may have triggered a string of incredibly unnerving conduct.
Just two weeks after Lina left, Aaron was granted a gun license and proceeded to purchase weapons at an alarming rate. According to him, he had applied for the license so that he could inherit five hundred (yes, you read that correctly – 500) guns from his late father and “donate [them] to the U.S. army”. But inheritance aside, within the first two weeks of receiving the license Aaron reportedly purchased five separate firearms, two of which were assault rifles. When questioned by TMZ about the guns, he claimed that they were a necessity for his own personal protection and that on a scale of one to ten, his mental stability was “infinite”.
This was understandably disturbing for most of Aaron’s loved ones. That’s about all we can be 100% certain of. The truth of what happened next, however, is a bit hazier.
Sometime in August 2019, Aaron’s twin sister Angel reportedly reached out to her brother to voice some of her concerns. Allegedly over the course of their conversation, Aaron admitted to harboring fantasies of killing Lauren Kitt, Nick Carter’s very pregnant wife. Naturally, Angel relayed this information to Nick.
It seems initially that the siblings called authorities, who showed up on a Sunday evening in September with the intent of putting Aaron on a 5150 psychiatric hold4. After a 15-minute conversation, police deemed that Aaron did not pose a threat to himself or others and left his house without incident. Left with no other legal recourse and evidently worried for the safety of their family members, Angel and Nick both filed temporary restraining orders5 against Aaron within a few days of the police visit.
Aaron insisted that Nick and Angel’s story was baseless. Instead, he contended that his brother and sister were actively conspiring against him.
At certain points, Aaron theorized that the family plot was born out of a desire for the state to seize his growing gun collection. This theory was at least partially rooted in reality, considering the fact that a judge overseeing the case did in fact order him to surrender his firearms6. In other instances, Aaron stated that his siblings wanted to trap him in a conservatorship à la Britney Spears or have him institutionalized. The most common claim he made of all, though, was that the restraining orders and wellness checks were rooted in the fact that Nick wanted Aaron to stay silent. And if Nick couldn’t have silence, he’d instead do everything in his power to destroy his younger brother’s credibility.
But why would Nick want to muzzle his own kin? What troubling skeleton did Aaron threaten to drag out of his superstar sibling’s closet?
In order to answer that question – and fully understand the degree of unabashed hatred the Carter brother’s falling out generated – we need to travel back to 2003.
In 2003, 18-year-old Melissa Schuman was already an experienced performer. Throughout her teens, she was part of an all-girls pop quartet called Dream. Despite the fact that the band’s debut album enjoyed moderate success, Schuman developed an interest in pursuing an acting career and left the relative comfort of the group. It was on the set of a made-for-TV movie titled The Hollow that Schuman first met Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. On an off-day of shooting, Nick invited Melissa to hang out with a couple of friends at a Santa Monica apartment. Initially charmed by the international superstar, Melissa happily accepted the invitation.
According to Schuman, Nick raped her that evening. Discouraged from pressing charges because of Carter’s powerful legal counsel, Melissa claims to have spent close to two decades quietly trying to move past her trauma. Shortly after her encounter with Nick, she retreated from the limelight and into relative obscurity.
But when RadarOnline revisited a 2006 police report detailing the sexual assault of an anonymous 20-year-old fan, Melissa felt compelled to finally share her story with the public. In late 2017, she penned a blog post that included graphic details of the assault and explicitly named Nick as her abuser.
While Nick did not deny that he and Melissa had slept together, he promptly refuted the notion that he had intentionally harmed her with the following statement:
“I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.
Almost immediately after coming forward, Schuman was flooded with scrutiny that went beyond the typical slut-shaming, slurs, and stigmatization directed at those that allege assault. Significant doubt was cast on Melissa’s story when extensive threads and blog posts detailed years of brief but seemingly friendly social media interactions between Schuman and Carter7. Die-hard Backstreet fans that combed Melissa's digital history uncovered a video titled "I Need To Become Important On The Internet" posted to her personal Youtube account, further damning her8.
The evidence was enough for many to conclude that Melissa was a vindictive liar consumed with jealousy over Nick’s successful career. Actually, for those convinced of Carter’s innocence, she was something far worse than a mere liar. She was an opportunistic leech, eager to personally capitalize on the #MeToo movement even if it meant invalidating the experiences of “real” victims.
Ultimately, prosecutors did not pursue Schuman’s charges against Nick Carter because the statute of limitations had expired.
This, however, did not lead Schuman to redact her initial statements. Insisting that she was an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, she continued to use her platforms to spread her version of events. So, while the danger of legal repercussions passed, Schuman remained a thorn in Nick’s side. And while the vast majority of people seemed to not take her word seriously, she cast the faintest shadows of suspicion on the wholesomeness of Carter, and to an extent, Backstreet as a brand.
Following Melissa’s initial 2017 statement, Aaron remained uncharacteristically quiet (likely because he was in rehab at the time). But in the late summer or fall of 2019 – just before he was served his restraining order – Aaron evidently made the curious decision to reach out to Schuman himself. One day after being served his restraining order, Aaron began publicly siding with Schuman and accused his brother of being a serial abuser. The following day, he revealed on Twitter that his need to step forward stemmed from the fact that he, too, was a victim of sexual assault perpetrated by his deceased older sister, Leslie.9
There’s no telling whether Aaron truly believed Melissa’s story10 when he made these shocking statements or if he simply hoped to hurt his family through the terrible optics of it all. Maybe it was all part of some manic episode that can't fully be rationalized.
But whatever his intentions were, they backfired horrifically.
It wasn't as simple as a severance between brothers. The firey rage and vitriol of a thousand religiously devoted boy band fanatics suddenly shifted from Melissa to Aaron. The backlash that began to develop as Carter’s history with drugs and dogs came to light increased one hundredfold overnight. His perceived betrayal of Nick (and Leslie, who was completely incapable of defending herself) was the stuff of biblical villains. With so many eyes in his direction, Aaron’s odd and problematic behavior would no longer go unchecked. And the deeper people dove, the easier it became for some to justify a sincere hatred for the man.
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Shortly after the height of the brother’s drama, a screenshot11 of a series of texts purported to have been exchanged between Aaron and a 15-year-old fan leaked online12. Within the texts was a photograph of an underwear-clad erection (presumably belonging to Aaron)13. The story never picked up mainstream attention, likely because there were never any charges filed and the screenshots were the only indicator that anything had ever happened. But while the rest of the world remained blissfully unaware of the indiscretion, those trapped deep in the Carter rabbit hole were quick to point out the hypocrisy behind Aaron advocating for Nick's alleged victims when he himself had victimized a teenage girl.
But the scandals didn’t end there. Far from it. Those logging into the daily livestreams started actually listening to the music being shared. Upon closer examination of a few of the “beats” that pulsated through the background in a seemingly constant loop, viewers started to accuse Aaron of stealing material from lesser-known musicians. He was also criticized for utilizing other artists’ work to promote LØVË merchandise without seeking permission or crediting creators.
As if all this weren’t enough, reports of animal abuse continued to pile on. PETA got involved when somebody shared a clip from one of Aaron’s livestreams depicting Jane Carter slapping a pug in the face. Rumors surrounding Aaron’s dogs escalated, and some individuals asserted that Carter fed his pets marijuana and rat poison to keep them sedated. As Aaron streamed, comments would come flooding in condemning his frequent habit of locking the animals in his bathroom or forcing them into cramped cages.
Quite honestly, the list of Aaron’s controversies goes on and on. If I detailed every single one, this series would never come to an end.
What’s important to know is that the countless hours he spent attempting to make connections or share music haunted Aaron the moment people discovered a reason to dislike him. People largely drew negative conclusions about Aaron based on the content that he consciously created. And while some loyal fans (often referred to as LMG (Love Money Gang)) defended Carter through these trying times, friends were quickly outnumbered by foes.
Some of the outcries were undoubtedly warranted and backed by irrefutable evidence. Other tales were based completely on conjecture. Most of the complaints fell somewhere in between the two, along the muddled gray plane where fact and fiction coalesce. Deserved or not, most logical people facing this scenario would opt to log off for a while.
Instead, malice fueled more streams and tweets than ever before. None of what anyone was saying could actually get through to Aaron at this point because he was beyond the point of reason and rationality.
Around the time Aaron came in contact with Melissa Schuman, he began inviting regular viewers – seemingly at random – to hop onto his livestreams. He started to compare his streaming habit to a self-produced reality show that allowed him the power to pull the strings. If he sensed even the faintest hint of animosity from his guests, he’d often launch into an all-out verbal assault.
The few followers that remained sympathetic to his plight (often labeled as “yes men” by critics) became sounding boards. He started using captive audiences to spout conspiracy theories about Nick Carter heading a cabal of Backstreet Boy groupies intent on causing him physical harm. Always convinced that an enemy might be watching, waiting to “clip” his words out of context, he’d warn his anonymous antagonists of the fleets of security cameras and attack dogs guarding his property.
In time, Aaron adopted a Joker-inspired persona. He often retorted with the line “I’m not playing your game, you’re playing mine”, implying that he was in total control of the increasingly insane circumstances unfolding around him.
“What I’m doing is an act. Guess what I’m doing? I’m showing the world that people pick up only on drama. Where do you show anything about my accolades here? You don’t. The world doesn’t…the bullying started to get worse in the last two years since I’ve been clean, sober, and I’ve started making millions of dollars again.”
— Aaron Carter, c. 2019
By December, he actually denounced Melissa Schuman, claiming that he was acting as a vigilante double agent to obtain the truth and that she had gotten caught in his “black web”. He started to vehemently deny that he suffered from any form of disordered thought, despite publically revealing a schizophrenia diagnosis and a laundry list of prescribed medications14 in a September 2019 episode of The Doctors15. After getting the mythological figure Medusa tattooed onto the side of his face, he erroneously claimed to have purchased a $7 million property in Nova Scotia to “get away from the drama” that seemed to dictate his entire existence.
Delusions of grandeur and unpredictability became the new norm, and by the beginning of 2020 staying up to date with the goings-on of Aaron Carter involved exerting the effort of a full-time job. But many were willing to do just that, charged by varying combinations of curiosity, concern, and disgust.
It’s hard to argue that these factors made Aaron’s final chapters some of the most devastating of his entire life. This is saying a lot, considering we’re talking about an exploited child star whose parents recklessly spent all of his earnings before he even had a legal right to it. Aaron faced constant struggles, but in those final years, it must have felt from his perspective that the entire world was designed with the sole intent of bringing him down.
Perhaps because of this existential isolation, perhaps in spite of it, something unexpected happened. In those moments when the whole universe seemed against him, Aaron found love.
Or, at the very least, something love-adjacent.
During an interview conducted a few years before his death, Aaron was once asked to describe his love language. After pausing for a brief moment, he answered the question with a question of his own: “When I reach for you in the dark and my eyes are closed, is your hand there?”
Aaron spent most of his days denied the comfort of a hand to guide him through his darkness. But eventually – for better or for worse – the hand in the dark he so desperately sought came in the form of an unsolicited Instagram DM.
The sender? A “bikini bartender” named Melanie Martin. She didn’t have the celebrity status of some of Aaron’s other ex-girlfriends, but her striking appearance clearly caught his attention. And in the face of so much loss and rejection, whatever words she shared brought reassurance of better days to come. So, in the midst of conspiratorial thought, online backlash, and disintegrating familial ties, Melanie and Aaron officially became an item.
Knee-deep in the trenches of addiction and illness, Aaron was probably incapable of maintaining a healthy long-term relationship long before Melanie entered the picture. But for Melanie, that didn’t matter. She could see the glimmers of the sensitive, charismatic man that won the hearts of pre-teen girls all those years ago. He was clearly damaged, but the “good” Aaron still clung to life underneath the sea of shit that had been hurled at him throughout the course of his life. Like countless others who find themselves loving a person battling mental illnesses and chemical dependencies, Melanie may have believed that if she loved Aaron hard enough16, the trouble might wash away the parts hardest to swallow.
But, as many of you surely know, love alone is not enough to conquer those demons.
From the start, the relationship was a textbook example of toxicity. Within two months of dating, Melanie was arrested for domestic violence (though she was released from police custody less than 24 hours later). Following the arrest, Melanie and Aaron became trapped in a ceaseless cycle of breaking and making up. After a brief attempt at trying to get the hashtag #FelonyMelanie trending, Aaron announced that the couple reunited and was expecting their first child. Two months later, Melanie suffered a miscarriage. Four days after revealing the miscarriage, Aaron proposed to Martin.
As Aaron grew increasingly unstable and the roller coaster of highs and lows continued, he began exhibiting what many interpreted as abusive tendencies. Some accused Carter of financial abuse when Melanie quit her bartending gig at Aaron’s request. Furthermore, fights captured on angry impromptu livestreams often quickly escalated into Aaron berating his wife-to-be. On at least one occasion Melanie can be heard literally pleading for Aaron to “get off the internet” as viewers stoke the flames in the comments.
Nevertheless, Aaron and Melanie always seemed to find a way back into each other’s arms. In March 2021, the couple announced a second pregnancy. In November, Martin gave birth to a son – Prince Lyric Carter.
Unfortunately, a child did very little to quell the volatile relationship. For better or worse, voyeurs grew concerned about the couple’s ability to take care of a newborn. CPS started investigating when Prince was about two weeks old following a flood of online followers reporting that the parents were “too rough” when handling their child during a stream. In February 2022 Melanie filed a temporary restraining order after claiming that Aaron had fractured a few of her ribs in a fit of rage. Aaron filed a restraining order of his own accusing Melanie of “emotional distress, anguish, shoving and scratching”.
By the next month, both rescinded their requests. But the drama raised enough red flags to compel authorities to intervene. In March 2022 Aaron Carter lost custody of his child after the fiasco, and from that point on was only allowed to see his 3-month-old son for nine hours a week with CPS supervision. And when Melanie inevitably answered the siren song of her struggling lover17, her mother was granted temporary custody of Prince.
Following the loss of his son and still in the thick of a romance trapped in a constant state of flux, Aaron increasingly leaned on the online community that formed in the wake of his erratic activities. On the surface, seeking support from this avenue may not make a whole lot of sense. Individuals with identities obscured by usernames largely fueled (not necessarily by any fault of their own) Aaron’s paranoia of being surveilled and slandered. His own tendency to overshare allowed the people he considered to be “haters” and “trolls” to meddle in his affairs.
However, his dependence makes significantly more sense when one considers the profoundly lonesome life he’d lead without his followers. Whether they offered support or loathing, the internet always provided someone willing to watch, listen, and engage.
And for that reason, Aaron ultimately never escaped the clutches of the artificial reality he built for himself, despite the threat that it posed to the tangible world that existed outside the realm of his smartphone.
Perhaps it’s because the first nights of Passover are looming over my head as I approach the sad culmination of this tale, but lately while writing I’ve been strangely reminded of the Book of Exodus, in which the ancient Egyptians are punished by God with plagues for their enslavement of the Jews. Specifically, the word dayenu (דַּיֵּנוּ) keeps popping into my head.
Dayenu is a Hebrew word that roughly translates to “it would have been enough”. It also refers to something between a call-and-response song and prayer that Jews have recited during Passover for centuries. With each line, Haggadah readers are reminded of what God did for his chosen people. So it goes:
If He had brought us out of Egypt? Dayenu.
If He had split the sea for us? Dayenu.
Sacrilege as it may be, my thoughts on Aaron Carter have been getting all mixed up with legends of locust-ravaged crops and rivers of blood. As I retell the exhaustive list of horrific happenings both inflicted upon and caused by Aaron, I can’t help but think thoughts like:
If Aaron had simply been subject to hundreds of hours of rehearsal and performance by the time he reached age 10? Dayenu.
If the only trauma the Carter children witnessed was the tumultuous and violent relationship their parents shared? Dayenu.
If the company of regular run-of-the-mill children and a proper education beyond the fourth grade18 were the only things denied to Aaron as a child? Dayenu.
If Lou Pearlman and other adult handlers had just collected their millions and the saga ended there? Dayenu.
If Aaron’s only problem as an adult was the insurmountable pile of debt accrued by the people that were supposed to care about him most? Dayenu.
If Aaron was doomed from the start to suffer from mental illness? Dayenu.
If the drugs were always fated to take hold of his soul? Dayenu.
If he was only predestined to endure years of ridicule on reality television as a washed-up celebrity novelty? Dayenu.
If the legal troubles and torment ceased when a judge ordered him to keep away from two of his three surviving siblings? Dayenu.
If a mass of anonymous followers on the internet condemned his many wrongdoings and called it a day? Dayenu.
But the thing about Dayenu (the prayer-song) is that God continues, time and time again, to surpass the expectations of his worshippers. The point is that any of the miracles God performed would have served as sufficient punishment for the Egyptian slave masters. It’s not that the punishments nullified or excused the sins of their oppressors – it’s just that the net total of human suffering and trauma inflicted by any one of God’s plagues would have probably been enough for the Jews to feel that justice had been served.
By the end of his time on Earth, the story of Aaron’s life resembled some twisted perversion of the Hebrew scriptures. At virtually any point, it would have been enough.
Please don’t mistake this comparison as an attempt to justify the most problematic of Aaron’s decisions. Even if we never know the full extent of his misdeeds, it’s important that he be held fully accountable for his wrongdoings.
But equally important is to recognize how the pain inflicted by Aaron stems directly from the pain inflicted on him. Because the abuse Carter endured becomes all the more tragic when you can clearly see the path it forged for the whole horrible cycle to continue. Redemption and recovery was never a realistic option without empathy and guidance. Denied the tools to help him work past each misfortune, countless deep-set wounds were allowed to fester.
Eventually, Aaron Carter transformed into a victimizer – not because he was inherently a monster, but because he saw it as a means of no longer being a victim. But, in life and death alike, he failed to fully escape the exploitation that made this realm so incredibly painful and unfair.
In the next installment: The end. CLICK HERE for part five.
From Aaron Carter, The Little Prince of Pop by Jane Carter: “…Aaron has been taken with the entire subject of dogs and is fascinated by a book I bought for him called The Complete Dog Book for Kids. His nose is always in that book. He’s become a regular walking encyclopedia of facts and history about many breeds and which famous kings and queens owned what breed of dog.”
Over the course of his adulthood, Aaron owned (or co-owned) no less than twenty-three dogs. For the most part, their exact whereabouts are shrouded in rumor and uncertainty. Because Aaron frequently deleted social media posts referencing his animals, information on some of Aaron’s former pets is extremely limited. However, here is what I was able to find concerning some of the dogs:
Stitch the French Bulldog - Strangely enough, Stitch ended up being the subject of a bizarre California custody case that stretched out over three years. Ultimately he wound up with a loving family living in suburban Los Angeles before passing away in 2016. The Myspace post offering Stitch for sale also references two unnamed pit bulls, whose fates are unknown.
Jada, breed unknown - Jada was likely one of Aaron’s first pets, as she’s referenced at least once in House of Carters. Little to no information is known about Jada, and her fate is unknown. Since she was shown as a puppy on House of Carters (17 years ago), chances are high that she has died of old age (if not by some unnatural, premature cause).
King the English Bulldog - As mentioned in my previous installment, King was rehomed to one of Aaron’s close friends and seemingly lived a very happy life before passing away several years ago.
Koda the Husky - Allegedly rehomed to an individual in Malibu, little is known about what happened to Koda.
Onyx the Pug - Little to no information is known about Onyx, and his fate is unknown at this time.
Gucci the Maltese - Rumored to have been rehomed to an unspecified ex-girlfriend’s parents.
Gabana the Maltese - Also rumored to have been rehomed to an unspecified ex-girlfriend’s parents.
Kitana, breed unknown - Allegedly rehomed to an unknown individual.
Biggie the English Bulldog - Little to no information is known about Biggie, and his fate is unknown at this time.
Mighty the English Bulldog - Aaron’s friend and former real estate agent Christie Limpus-Hathaway claims to have taken ownership of Mighty and renamed him Frank. According to Limpus-Hathaway, Mighty/Frank was born with a neurological disorder that causes seizures, which may or may not explain why Aaron rehomed the dog.
Palo (aka Pablo) the French Bulldog - Aaron’s friend and former real estate agent Christie Limpus-Hathaway claims to have taken ownership of Palo. Twitter users claim that ex-girlfriend Lina Valentina confirmed that Palo was rehomed, though Lina’s statement seems to have been lost.
Nala the pug - Aaron’s friend and former real estate agent Christie Limpus-Hathaway claims to have taken ownership of Nala. Nala in particular garnered a lot of social media attention after a pug rescue organization offered Carter $10,000 USD to rehome the dog, which was refused. When Nala stopped appearing on livestreams, viewers frequently demanded that Aaron reveal the pug’s whereabouts. There is speculation by some that Aaron actually purchased a second pug and attempted to pass it off as the original Nala in response to the frequent outcries.
Peanut, Poodle/Yorkie mix - Following Aaron and Melanie Martin’s first breakup, Aaron made claims that Melanie had “broken her dog’s leg”. Concerned about the dog’s safety, Aaron went on to explain that he “delivered the animal to her mom”.
Saint the Samoyed - Rumor that Melanie Martin assumed ownership after one of their break-ups. Saint’s fate post-break-up is unknown at this time.
Zelda the German Shepard - Zelda was one of two dogs owned by Aaron at the time of his death. She was adopted by Melanie Martin’s sister following Aaron’s death and seems to be living a happy life with her new family.
Karma the Chow Chow - Karma was one of two dogs owned by Aaron at the time of his death. Reports say that Karma was adopted by a colleague of Melanie Martin’s sister following Aaron’s death.
The names of other dogs that may have been in Carter’s possession but have since been wiped from public records include Rambo, Kilo, Tip, and Athena. Furthermore, Aaron’s German Shepard Zelda had at least two litters of puppies, likely bringing the total dog-count to well over thirty.
During one stream, Aaron explained that he does not keep any dogs that he shared in past relationships. Instead, these dogs are either sent to live with the ex or rehomed to a third party. Though this rule may seem callous to those that consider their pets a part of the family, it may explain the whereabouts of some of Aaron’s past dogs.
According to California law, when there is probable cause that a person (as a result of a mental health disorder) may be a danger to themselves or others, mental health professionals and/or peace officers are permitted to take said person into custody for up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention. It’s not something that’s done lightly – for instance, former child star Amanda Bynes was placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold last month only after she was found wandering nude through the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
Both temporary restraining orders would later be extended to provide protection for one year.
A Tweet from ex-girlfriend Lina Valentina further backs up this theory. According to her, because Aaron’s loved ones were genuinely concerned for his well-being they sought options alongside local authorities that would result in the seizure of his firearms.
For example, Melissa tweeted condolences to Nick following the death of his sister in 2012. Schuman claimed that was she trying to show “forgiveness and compassion” toward her abuser. In another instance, Schuman liked a Tweet that referred to Carter (as well as her husband Brandon Henschel) as a “DILF”.
Schuman later wrote a follow-up blog post to refute her refuters in which she explains that “I Need to Become Famous on the Internet” was intended to be a satirical skit.
Though the rest of the Carter family remained silent, BJ actively refuted Aaron’s versions of events and has claimed in an interview that it was “the other way around”, implying that Aaron abused Leslie. Aaron also claimed that he and Leslie had reconciled before her death. Because both Aaron and Leslie have passed away, it’s extremely unlikely that we will ever receive further clarification on what actually happened.
In an interview recorded less than two weeks before his death, Aaron Carter apologized to his brother and asserted that he no longer believed Melissa Schuman’s rape allegations. He did not elaborate further on what prompted the change of heart.
The texts are now somewhat difficult to find – the original screenshots contained identifying information about the minor in question, and supposedly the images were shared without her consent. If you’re interested, some (censored) snippets of the conversation still float around on Twitter, but I’m not going to link them here because they are gross.
Interestingly, there’s evidence that suggests that Lauren Kitt (Nick Carter’s wife) willingly shared the private screenshots with a well-known Aaron Carter troll, who then shared them with the public. While parts of a live stream between Kitt and the troll survive, the segments that reportedly discussed the screenshots have been lost and concrete evidence pegging Lauren as the leaker is unavailable. How Lauren Kitt may have originally procured the text messages in the first place is also subject to debate.
Aaron seems to acknowledge that he did in fact send inappropriate texts to a minor in at least one livestream.
Aaron’s medications in 2019 included: Xanax, Seroquel, Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Trazodone, Omazeprazole, Propranolol, Diazepam, Wellbutrin, and at least one unspecified extended-release opiate (said to be prescribed after receiving a dental procedure).
It’s worth noting that studies suggest that nearly 30% of individuals suffering from schizoaffective disorders may experience anosognosia, a condition in which a person lacks the self-awareness to recognize that their diagnosis as reality. This may explain Carter’s inconsistencies concerning his mental health.
Did Melanie Martin love Aaron? She is the only one that could answer this for sure, but unfortunately, she could not be reached for comment. The most cynical observers have claimed that the relationship was a farce motivated by fame and money. After all, the girlfriend of a controversial pseudo-celebrity could draw in a hell of a lot more views on social media than a scantily clad bartender among a million scantily clad bartenders. That said, I am personally inclined to believe that Melanie truly cared for Aaron in a way that is difficult to understand for those that have only experienced healthy romantic relationships.
For what it’s worth, Melanie was quite vocal about suffering from post-partum depression – this very well might have played a role in her decision to place Prince in her mother’s care and work on her relationship with Aaron.
This is me being extremely generous. We do know that Aaron attended Frank D. Miles Elementary School and a few sources mention him attending “the Ruskin School” (although it’s unclear if this refers to the public Ruskin Elementary School or Ruskin Christian School – either way, being based right outside of Tampa it’s highly unlikely that Aaron attended by the time he was living in Carter family’s Florida Keys compound). There is no publicly available record that indicates Carter ever attended high school. Though there are laws that mandate child stars be tutored, the qualifications of on-set educators can be sketchy at best. Furthermore, as evidenced by the fate of Aaron’s Coogan account, the adults in his early childhood didn’t seem particularly concerned with abiding by the law.