The Backstreet Boys were pegged as a bubblegum boy band for most of their teen pop careers, but their new documentary Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You Got is showing the darker side of instant fame and life in the spotlight.
"We decided to just let cameras roll, to be honest and open and forthright," Kevin Richardson told ET’s Nancy O’Dell.
The grown-up Boys, Richardson, Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean, and Howie Dorough, sat down with O’Dell to talk more about the doc and life as teen icons. One major dark spot in the documentary is the band’s relationship with creator and manager Lou Pearlman, who created some of the most successful musical acts of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, nearly all of whom eventually sued him for fraud. Pearlman was eventually jailed for conspiracy and money laundering after operating a massive Ponzi scheme.
"It's been sort of public knowledge since Lou went to prison," McLean says. "We've been asked in interviews here and there to touch on it. But never really as open and vulnerable as we were in the film."
The best-selling boy band in history alleges that Pearlman was taking over 78 percent of their income at the height of their success.
"Just to have him out of our contracts, we had to pay him like 30 million dollars," Dorough says. "He owned the name. It was a big mess."