Duff tells ET it's 'really sad' to see the publisher 'recklessly' try to capitalize on Carter's death.
Hilary Duff is blasting the book publisher moving forward with the release of Aaron Carter's unfinished memoir, calling the move "sad" and a reckless attempt to "capitalize" on the late singer's tragedy.
In a statement to ET, the Lizzie McGuire alum and Carter's ex-girlfriend said it's "really sad that within a week of Aaron's death, there's a publisher that seems to be 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 book, titled Aaron Carter: An Incomplete Story of an Incomplete Life and written by Andy Symonds with Ballast Books as the publisher, is set to be released on Nov. 15, a mere 10 days after Carter was found dead in his Lancaster, California, home. Carter, the younger brother of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, was 34.
Duff's concern stems from the fact that Carter claimed in the autobiography that he and Duff lost their virginity to each other.
"Hilary and I lost our virginity to each other at a hotel… in LA," writes Carter in an excerpt obtained by the New York Post. "I think it was her birthday, maybe her 13th, but I don’t remember. Her friends walked in, and we just yelled at them to get out."
According to The Post, Duff has previously hinted that she actually lost her virginity to Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden when they dated between 2004 and 2006.
"To water down Aaron's life story to what seems to be unverified click-bait for profit is disgusting," Duff continued in her statement to ET. "In no way do I condone shedding any light on what is so obviously an uninformed, heartless, money grab."
Carter's management team also echoed Duff's statement, telling The Post it "would like to thank Hilary Duff" for speaking up.
"In the few short days following our dear friend's passing we have been trying to grieve and process while simultaneously having to deal with obscenely disrespectful and unauthorized releases, including an album titled Blacklisted, a single titled "Lately," and now a book," said Big Umbrella Management's Taylor Helgeson.
As for Ballast Books and its plans to move ahead with the book, a rep for the publisher released a statement on behalf of the author. In that statement to ET, Symonds said Carter hired him "to help him tell the world his story."
"That story, while tragically cut short, was filled with good and bad," the statement added. "His life was far from pretty, and understandably certain people in the public eye don’t want some of the stories Aaron tells in his book to come to light. That doesn’t make them any less true or newsworthy. Aaron had a right -- as we all do -- to tell his story. As a journalist, I am honored that he chose me to help him do that. In addition to being cathartic for him, Aaron hoped this book would help others struggling with addiction and mental illness. I hope and believe it will do that."
In a statement to ET, Scott Altherton, founder of Atherton Galardi Mullen & Reeder PLLC and who is representing Ballast Books and Symonds, says "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."
The statement continued, "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. Out of respect for the Carter family, my client has decided to defer further release of the book at this time. 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."
Following his death, Hollywood mourned Carter's death. Duff was among those who paid tribute to the "I Want Candy" singer when she took to Instagram and captioned her post, "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."