Nick Carter shared a heartbreaking tribute Sunday to his little brother Aaron Carter, who died the day before. Nick described his relationship with the 34-year-old singer as “complicated” but declared on Instagram that his “love for him has never ever faded.”
“My heart is broken,” Nick wrote. “Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. I have always held on to the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed.”
Aaron was found dead in his Lancaster, California, home early Saturday morning. No cause of death has been given for the performer, whose 42-year-old brother Nick was a member of the Backstreet Boys and addressed Aaron’s storied substance abuse struggles on Sunday.
“Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss,” Nick wrote, “but the truth is that addiction and mental illness is the real villain here. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you Chizz. Now you can finally have the peace you could never find here on earth.”
Nick had a rocky relationship with Aaron and even filed a restraining order against him in September 2019 after Aaron reportedly threatened to kill Nick’s wife, Lauren Kitt, according to Page Six. The order was granted in November 2019 and expired the following year.
“In light of Aaron’s increasingly alarming behavior and his recent confession that he harbors thoughts and intentions of killing my pregnant wife and unborn child, we were left with no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves and our family,” Nick wrote in 2019, per US Weekly.
Aaron, who became a child star as his brother grew into a boy band sensation, told Oprah Winfrey in 2016 that he “started getting really heavy into drinking” after participating in “Dancing With the Stars” in 2009. He went to rehab that year and was arrested for driving under the influence in 2010.
Aaron proposed to his girlfriend Melanie Martin in 2020 and welcomed son Prince Lyric Carter in November 2021. She filed a restraining order against Aaron in March 2022 alleging that he broke her ribs — which she blamed on his prescription pill abuse before claiming she made it all up.
The late singer did struggle with substance abuse throughout his adult life, however, and was attending an outpatient rehab program for the past few months after losing custody of his child. Aaron told The Sun in September that he hadn’t relapsed but was working on responding to triggers and said, “I want my son back.”
Nick concluded his post Sunday with affectionate words for Aaron: “I love you baby brother.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.