Lance Bass is on the promotional circuit to hype his new documentary “The Boy Band Con”, looking at the rise and fall of boy band manager Lou Pearlman, who died in prison in 2016 after being convicted of running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history.
Pearlman, who managed Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, LFO, O-Town, Aaron Carter and other tween-friendly acts in the 1990s, was also later found to have swindled the artists he managed, and was also faced allegations of molesting underage boys.
“The Boy Band Con” sheds light on Pearlman and his various enterprises, while also chronicling his uncanny knack for creating young stars, and features interviews with artists including *NSYNC members Bass, JC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick, Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean, O-Town’s Ashley Parker Angel, Aaron Carter and others.
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On Thursday, Bass spoke with Lori Majewski of SiriusXM’s Volume channel, and admitted he was surprised to hear Carter defend his former manager when interviewed for the doc.
“When he was going to do the interview, we had to fight for him to be in the film because he wasn’t part of a boy band, but we knew he had great stories because if anyone, he was the closest to Lou at such a young age,” Bass told Majewski.
“We thought that him deciding to do this, he was going to really tell insane stories that we always heard rumours about, so we were trying to get some confirmation finally,” he continued.
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“But it didn’t happen that way,” Bass marvelled. “He defended him with every breath, you could see the torment still in him and you have to believe him.”
Bass also discussed his struggle to encourage interviewees to open up about their experiences with Pearlman, however painful they have have been.
“We kind of blanketed everyone and said, ‘Look, we’re providing a platform and if you want to speak your truth, this is the time to do it.’ Because these are the people who really lived this story,” he explained.
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“I understand people’s reservation to be in it,” added Bass. “So it really humbles me to know the people that just trusted me to tell the right story because, yeah, it could go the other way but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a film that was truthful.”
Following Bass’ interview, Carter took to Twitter to state that “nothing ever happened to me but that doesn’t take away what might have. I just tell my stories the way they truly were with me.”