AJ McLean helped get Aaron Carter into rehab

AJ McLean helped Aaron Carter get into rehab - but he didn't stay long credit:Bang Showbiz
AJ McLean helped Aaron Carter get into rehab - but he didn't stay long credit:Bang Showbiz

AJ McLean helped Aaron Carter check into rehab five years before his death.

The Backstreet Boys singer knew Aaron through his brother - bandmate Nick Carter - and he's now revealed the tragic pop star reached out to him back in 2017 when he was struggling with addiction issues so AJ encouraged him to get on a flight and come to Los Angeles so he could get him the treatment he needed.

Speaking in new documentary 'Aaron Carter: The Prince of Pop', AJ explained: "2017, Aaron reached out to me, asked me for help. I said: 'Look, if you get on a plane, come out to L.A., I will make sure you get into treatment.' And he showed up. I was shocked, but I was happy, and he checked into a treatment centre in Malibu."

However, the 45-year-old singer - who has spent years battling his own addiction issues - went on to admit Aaron's treatment stint didn't last long because he later found out the 'Crazy Little Party Girl' star had checked himself out.

AJ went on: "A couple days later, I talked to him, and then he kind of went off the map. I think it was maybe two weeks, so I called my friends at the treatment centre, and they said he checked himself out."

Aaron died in November at the age of 22 with a coroner later ruling the singer drowned in his bathtub after taking a sedative and inhaling a gas used in spray cleaners.

In the documentary, AJ went on to address his own issues which have plagued him for years, saying: "I was a functioning addict. I had been in and out of the rooms since 2001, so for 22 years I've been battling my own s***. I almost lost my marriage, I almost lost my band, I almost lost my life. The last time I relapsed, which would be 18 months ago, my youngest daughter was kind of the nail in the coffin for me ... She said I didn't smell like her dad. That was enough. That pretty much did it for me and I have stayed sober since and I plan on staying sober. It's a daily thing."

AJ announced he was "temporarily" separating from his wife Rochelle back in March and he insisted they are working with a therapist and he's determined to stay sober.

He told TMZ.com: "We have a therapist together and I'm working my 12-step program. I'm staying sober and I'm just focusing on myself and really what I need to do to be the best version I can. "This is a great opportunity for me to now finally do this and focus on me. That's what all the drinking and the drugs were for years - me not wanting to deal with my own demons, and now I'm dealing with it."