Less than a month later tragic death From Aaron Carterhis friend and manager Taylor Helgeson is responding to criticism that he hasn’t done enough for the 34-year-old singer, who has struggled with drug and alcohol addictions for much of his very short life.
“People seem to be more upset that we haven’t revealed it publicly. Why would you do that? To someone you care about? If you really want to help them, you speak in private,” Helgeson told Yahoo Entertainment. “And Aaron had real friends, real family. We talked a lot in private. We did a lot of work. You know, 2017, we had to take him to therapy. We did.”
Helgeson has been friends with Carter for years, and worked with him on his 2018 album, the loveBy participating in writing some songs and touring with him. He said Carter asked him to help run it last year.
“We know what we tried. We know what we did. I sleep soundly at night knowing I did my best for my friend until he died,” Helgeson says. “And if it were a cartoon and we could have strapped him to the ground and dragged him to a treatment center, we would have done it. But it’s not like that, it’s real life. And there’s the helplessness that comes with watching someone go through addiction.”
He particularly addressed comments from Carter’s on-again, off-again fiancé Melanie Martin, the mother of their 1-year-old son, Prince. In response to comments made by Helgeson regarding Carter’s death, she accused the director of having “a hand in his relapse”.
“This man did nothing to help Aaron. He helped him a lot,” she wrote. “All he did was put a wedge between Aaron and me to get the party started. He tried to take over and brought him things that should never have been brought to anyone. Not to mention a junkie.”
Martin Helgesson was accused of “tiring” his client and continuing to use him to earn money for interviews. (Yahoo does not pay for the interviews.)
There were enablers, Helgeson says, but he wasn’t one of them. When Carter asked him to manage his own career, he said, Helgeson insisted that he find a more stable home life. He and Martin accused each other of domestic violence.
“I was surprised to see those comments from his ex-wife,” says Helgeson. “That was kind of mind-blowing.” Especially because, says Helgeson, he insisted that Carter take some time off.
Personally, Carter voluntarily enrolled himself in outpatient rehab, trying it out He regains custody of his sonwho was reportedly placed with Martin’s mother by court order, and was planning to reconnect with estranged family members, including his brother Nick.
Then he missed a studio session and a demo.
“That was very different from him. That was alarming. That was different. This was behavior we hadn’t seen before,” Helgeson explains. “Somehow he always managed to show up, and in the last month, it’s changed. It’s changed a lot.”
Helgeson saw his friend one last time in a recording studio, as they were going to work on his sequel the loveTwo days before his death.
“I hadn’t seen him for a few months until I saw him at that time. I could see from his face how bad he was. Instead of doing a recording session, we ended up… I wouldn’t call it an argument,” says Helgeson, “but we ended up talking.” And he had to leave the session. You know, it wasn’t hostile. It wasn’t anything like that. It was just, You’re not okay now.”
And it was it. Helgeson says he misses Carter very much, but doesn’t blame him for his addiction.
He wants people to know that he was his friend more than anything else Think they know.
“He was a giver. He was an incredibly generous person. And he loved people. He really loved people. And I think some of his flaws were…he was an extrovert and he really wanted that love back, you know, when anyone criticized him or made fun of him.” On the internet, he took that stuff really seriously. It really affected him,” Helgeson says. “And that’s where you kind of see some of that behavior of his criticizing, because he’d get very hurt. It wasn’t because he was angry, you know. He was a very sensitive person, but also just an incredibly generous and tender friend. I mean, you couldn’t ask for a better friend than Aaron.”