Lance Bass Says He Was 'Inappropriately' Touched as a Teen

by Sophie Schillaci 11:54 AM PDT, October 07, 2015
Playing Lance Bass Says He Was 'Inappropriately' Touched as a Teen

Lance Bass is speaking out.

While discussing Ashley Judd's bombshell allegations of being sexually harassed by a Hollywood mogul, Bass claims that he too was on the receiving end of some "inappropriate" attention from someone he worked with.

"It happens to men, too," Bass said during a taping of The Meredith Vieira Show, airing today. "It's a two-way street. It happened to me when I was 16 or 17 years old, when we started there was someone that we worked with that was inappropriately touching us."

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Bass is undoubtedly referring to his time as a member of the boy band *NSYNC, which skyrocketed to international superstardom in the late '90s.

"I wasn't even aware then, at 16, that this guy was a pedophile and he was touching me," Bass continued. "Oddly, I didn't feel victimized at the time because I was very aware of it."

Bass never names the person he's accusing, but the 36-year-old's new comments echo similar statements he's made about Lou Pearlman -- the impresario who created *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for masterminding a major Ponzi scheme.

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"He'd always grab our arms and feel our muscles and go: 'Hey boys, you workin' out? Yeahhhh!' " Bass told The Hollywood Reporter last year, adding that Pearlman never crossed a line with him. "We would hear things, for sure," Bass confessed. "He would always have young boy limo drivers for Trans Continental Records; those limo drivers would always be put into different boy bands. Then I'd hear rumors ... where there's smoke, there's fire." Pearlman has denied any allegations of inappropriate behavior.

In a 2007 Vanity Fair expose, the mother of Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean expressed a similar sentiment.

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"As a mother, you kind of put two and two together," Denise McLean told the mag. "Yet there was always that fine line where you sat back and went, 'OK, is this a guy who always wanted to be a father or an uncle? Is this all innocent? Or is it more?' I kind of thought that there might have been some strange things going on. But you just didn't know."

In the same article, Pearlman's business associate, Julian Benscher, came to his defense.

"I spent quite a lot of time with Lou from '90 to '94 and never did he behave inappropriately in any sexual fashion," said Benscher. "Did I a couple of times think that maybe with one of the drivers he had an unusually friendly relationship? Sure. But I spent a lot of time with the boys and Lou, and I can tell you there was no inappropriate behavior. No way."

Speaking with THR directly last year, Pearlman denied all allegations of inappropriate behavior with his artists, specifically referring to the Vanity Fair article.

"You know, the accusations that came out in that article, none of it was substantiated," he said. "Nobody who I've made a success has ever accused me of anything negative like that. The Vanity Fair piece interviewed only people that had a grudge."

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Bass has clearly moved on from his *NSYNC days. Earlier this year, he tied the knot with Michael Turchin and stopped by ET to dish about the special day.

"Coming from the South it's still a huge subject -- the whole gay marriage," Lance said. "To see my Mississippi parents walking me down the aisle, it really spoke volumes."

See the interview in the video below.