EXCLUSIVE: Nick Carter Reveals the Reason Why He Quit Drugs and Alcohol
By Raphael Chestang
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Nick Carter has seen the highest highs and lowest lows, and he reflected on his time in the spotlight with ET.
ET's history with Nick, 35, predates the Backstreet Boys. We were with the singer and Dancing With the Stars contestant in 1992 before he fell in lock step with A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell.
"My name's Nick Carter, and I'm from Tampa, Florida," the young entertainer said at the time. "I just like being noticed."
Of course it wouldn't take long before Nick was getting recognized all over the world, traveling with the successful boy band, but his meteoric rise didn't come without downfalls. The pop star was arrested after a bar brawl in 2002, was arrested again in 2005 for DUI and ballooned to 224 pounds. He opened up about his struggle with addiction in his autobiography Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It.
"I began drinking heavily in my teens and then moved on to drugs at 18 or 19, starting with marijuana and moving up to cocaine, Ecstasy, and prescription painkillers among other substances," he wrote.
While the world was kept privy of his struggles, Nick filled us in on the inner battles he was going through during his years as a teen idol.
"You get a lot of attention," Nick said. "There's a lot of yes people out there. Those are the perks, but they're negative perks. They just don't have the purest of intentions. At that time you have money and you have the fame ... But I think what's interesting now is the progression -- how I started and where I've come to now."
Nick noted his physical appearance as the wake-up call he needed to get sober and healthy.
"I was gaining weight at the time, the color in my face was gone," Nick said. "I was able to look in the mirror at one point and said to myself, 'I don't want to be that person that you turn on the television and they're saying, We feel really bad because he died."
Now, Nick is sober and married to actress Lauren Kitt with a baby due next spring.
"She was a woman who wasn't afraid to tell me like no," Nick said of how he knew Lauren was the one. "She's like my shield, and I'm her shield."
Fans can watch Nick in the final four of DWTS, going head-to-head with fellow remaining contestants Alek Skarlatos, Carlos PenaVega and Bindi Irwin.
"I always remember thinking I was always second best," Nick told ET. "It's funny. All this Dancing With the Stars -- it's coming down to the wire-- and there's a little chip on my shoulder still from then. I think it would be nice to get first place!"