Aaron Carter memoir delayed amid pushback from singer’s publicist and Hilary Duff

A man with blond hair posing in a white shirt and black jacket
Aaron Carter attends the 2015 premiere of “Saints & Strangers” in Beverly Hills.
(Rich Fury / Invision / AP)

A book publisher has delayed the release of Aaron Carter’s posthumous memoir amid pushback from the late musician’s publicist and his ex-girlfriend Hilary Duff.

An attorney representing imprint Ballast Books and memoir author Andy Symonds announced Saturday that his clients had decided “out of respect for the Carter family” to indefinitely postpone the publication of “Aaron Carter: An Incomplete Story of an Incomplete Life.” The book was previously scheduled to be released Nov. 15.

Last week, however, an electronic version was already available for Kindle readers. The Times obtained a copy.

Carter, a singer and rapper known for hits such as “I Want Candy” and “Aaron’s Party,” was found dead last week at his home in Lancaster. He was 34.

The former child stars dated on and off for three years in the early 2000s, at the height of their fame.

Nov. 6, 2022


“Aaron Carter wanted his story told. And he wanted our client, Andy Symonds, a well-respected journalist and author, to tell that story with all its beauty and rawness,” attorney Scott Atherton said in a statement provided to The Times.

“Public attention has recently focused on a small number of interactions during Mr. Carter’s early years. The more important story is about Mr. Carter’s life as a whole and what people can learn from his professional success, his personal struggles, and his tragic passing. ... Mr. Carter was not just a celebrity, but he was also a father, a brother, a son, and a friend to many who are still grieving for him.”

Singer-rapper Aaron Carter was found dead at his home in Southern California. The former child star had struggled with drug use and addiction.

Nov. 5, 2022

Ballast Books’ decision comes days after Duff accused the publisher via the Daily Mail of “recklessly pushing a book out to capitalize on this tragedy without taking appropriate time or care to fact check the validity of his work.” The “How I Met Your Father” actor and Carter dated when they were both child stars in the early 2000s.

As first reported by the New York Post, the memoir claims that the “Lizzie McGuire” alum and the “I’m All About You” artist lost their virginities to each other at a hotel in Los Angeles when they were about 13.

“To water down Aaron’s life story to what seems to be unverified click-bait for profit is disgusting,” Duff told the Daily Mail. “In no way do I condone shedding any light on what is so obviously an uninformed, heartless, money grab.”

‘Aaron was so excited about ... helping raise awareness for mental health, a topic he was very passionate about,’ said writer-director Brian Farmer.

Nov. 9, 2022


Carter’s publicist also told Page Six on Friday that the vocalist did not want the “unauthorized” memoir to be published.

“Aaron, in the midst of [working on the book], said, ‘I want nothing to do with this’ and stopped, so the fact that the publisher is saying it’s green-lit, it’s not,” his rep said. “That’s against Aaron’s wishes.”

Although Amazon now lists the title as “Out of Print—Limited Availability,” copies obtained by The Times have not been removed from personal electronic libraries. The memoir runs to roughly 100 pages, half of them fragments of loose transcripts that were obtained, Symonds writes, from 18 hours of interviews conducted in 2019 and 2020 and annotated with Symonds’ notes on follow-up questions that were left unanswered.

The e-book includes many accounts of drug use, allegations of abuse, and extensive retellings of romantic entanglements.

Authorities are still trying to determine how Carter died after the Los Angeles County coroner’s office performed an autopsy and deferred declaring a cause of death pending chemical tests. On Sunday, TMZ reported that the State of California will decide who inherits Carter’s estate after he reportedly died without a will.

“For Aaron — I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in-front of the whole world,” Duff, 35, wrote last week in a statement posted on Instagram. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent... boy did my teenage self love you deeply.”

Christina Veta contributed reporting.