Less than a month later the tragic death from Aaron Carterhis friend and manager Taylor Helgeson responds to criticism that he didn’t do enough for the 34-year-old singer, who struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol for much of his too-short life.
“It seems people are more upset that we haven’t exposed him publicly. Why would you do that? With someone you care about? If you really want to help them, you talk privately,” Helgeson tells Yahoo Entertainment. “And Aaron had real friends, real family. We talked a lot in private. We did a lot of work. You know, in 2017 we had to take him to treatment. We did that.”
Helgeson had been friends with Carter for many years and collaborated with him on his 2018 album, Love, by co-writing a number of songs and touring with him. He said Carter had been asking him to help manage him for the past year.
“We know what we’ve tried. We know what we’ve done. I sleep peacefully at night knowing that I did my best for my friend until he died,” says Helgeson. “And if it was a cartoon and we could have tied him to the ground and dragged him to the treatment center, we would have. But it’s not, it’s real life. And there’s a helplessness that comes with with watching someone who is going through addiction.”
He took particular issue with comments from Melanie Martin, Carter’s on-again, off-again fiancé and the mother of their 1-year-old son, Prince. In response to comments Helgeson had made about Carter’s death, she accused the manager of “having a hand in his relapse”.
“This man did nothing to help Aaron. He made him as much as possible,” she wrote. “All he did was drive a wedge between Aaron and me to get the party started. He tried to take over and bring him things that should NEVER have been brought to anyone. Let alone an addict.”
Martin accused Helgeson of “overworking” his client and continuing to use him to get paid for interviews. (Yahoo does not pay for interviews.)
Helgeson says there were facilitators around, but he wasn’t one of them. He said that when Carter asked him to manage his career, Helgeson insisted he seek a more stable family life. Both he and Martin had accused each other of domestic violence.
“It surprised me to see those comments from his ex,” says Helgeson. “This was quite mind-blowing.” Especially since, says Helgeson, he had insisted that Carter take some time off.
Personally, Carter had voluntarily enrolled in outpatient rehab, trying to do just that regain custody of his sonwho was allegedly placed with Martin’s mother by court order, and he planned to reconnect with estranged relatives, including his brother Nick.
Then he missed a studio session and a show.
“And that was so different from him. That was worrying. That was different. That was behavior we had never seen before,” Helgeson explains. “Somehow he always managed to show up and in the last month, two months, that’s changed. It’s changed a lot.”
Helgeson last saw his friend in a recording studio, where they went to work on a sequel Lovetwo days before his death.
“I hadn’t seen him for a few months until I saw him then. I could just see on his face how bad he was. Instead of having a recording session, we ended up… I wouldn’t want it to be an argument to call.” ‘ says Helgeson, ‘but eventually we had a conversation. And he had to leave the session. You know, it wasn’t hostile. It wasn’t like that. .”
And that was it. Helgeson says he misses Carter very much, but doesn’t blame him for his addiction.
He wants people to know that his friend was more than her 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 pitfalls were… he was open and really wanted that love back, you know, when someone would criticize him. he took it or made fun of him on the internet, he took those things very seriously. It really hit him,” says Helgeson. “And that’s where you see some of that behavior from him, because he’s ” would have been so hurt. It wasn’t that he was angry, you know. He was a very sensitive person, but also just an incredibly giving and generous friend. I mean, you couldn’t wish for a better friend than Aaron.”