A heavy heart. Hilary Duff took to social media to share a heartfelt tribute following ex Aaron Carter’s death on Saturday, November 5.
“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,” Duff, 35, wrote via Instagram on Saturday night. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent … boy did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time. Rest easy ♥️.”
On Saturday, a 911 call was made at 11 a.m. local time from Carter’s California residence, according to reports from TMZ and The Hollywood Reporter. A rep later confirmed to Us Weekly that the “I Want Candy” singer was found dead in his home. He was 34.
The Florida native, who is the younger brother of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, rose to fame in 2000 as a child singer and rapper and began dating Duff in 2000 — when both were just 13. The twosome continued an on-and-off romance until calling it quits for good in 2003. During their various breakups, Aaron was often linked to Lindsay Lohan.
“I started dating Hilary [Duff] on my 13th birthday,” he told host CNBC back in 2005. “I was dating her for like a year-and-a-half and then I just got a little bored so I went and I started getting to know Lindsay, dating Lindsay.”
The A Cinderella Story star moved on with Joel Madden in 2004 and later tied the knot with former NHL player Mike Comrie in 2010. After their split, she married musician Matthew Koma in 2019. Aaron, however, continued to refer to the Younger alum as the “love of his life” over the years.
In 2012, the “I’m All About You” artist spoke with Fox News about Duff’s marriage, her pregnancy news and his regret over losing her. “I’m really happy for her that she’s in a successful relationship and that she’s going to have a baby,” he said. “Sometimes I think to myself, maybe that could have been me but it is what it is.”
Two years later, Aaron took to social media to seemingly share that he still carried a torch for the “Come Clean” songstress. “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to better myself to get back to her. I don’t care what ANY of you think,” the “Sooner or Later” singer wrote after previously retweeting a photo of Duff and captioning the post, “hilary duff is flawless.”
In April 2014, Aaron told Entertainment Tonight that he was “never going to give up on Hilary, ever.”
Duff, meanwhile, responded to Aaron’s declarations of love during an interview with BuzzFeed that same year.
“I keep seeing that, that he keeps doing that. I don’t know how I feel. I mean, that was so long ago, and obviously, I’m still married, and I have a baby and we kind of just…” she said, before the reporter interjected, “Don’t know each other?”
The former Disney star replied, “Yeah, don’t know each other … so … yeah.”
Duff and Comrie, 42, welcomed their son Luca in 2012 but ultimately split in January 2014. Koma and the How I Met Your Father wed after two years of dating, and the couple share daughters Banks and Mae, who were born in 2018 and 2021, respectively.
Aaron, for his part, welcomed a son with ex-fiancée Melanie Martin in November 2021. The twosome dated on and off until their most recent split in February.
“It’s all a beautiful blessing because I’ve had a lot of relationships and I started [to] kind of [give] up on love. I was talking about having a family years ago,” Aaron exclusively told Us in December 2021 of becoming a first-time father. “I [wanted] to be at home and enjoy the love of my life and my child. Now that it’s here, it’s like an epiphany. Every minute now has become so precious and every bit of time that slips by now … I’ve [really] switched my gears of thinking. I’ve given a lot of people second and third chances, as you can see with us and the stuff that we’ve gone through.”
He added, “The person that I am today — I want to be a better version of [the person] I was the day prior to that. So tomorrow, I want to be a better version of myself than I was the day before that. So that’s really what I’m striving for and really just peace and serenity and exercising those things more. And really holding my own self accountable for my shortcomings. You can use your willpower to make the difference with yourself. You gotta be able to recognize how you look, how you feel, and you gotta know that your body is a temple and you need to cherish it and take care of it.”