Nick Carter says he feels a lot of guilt.
The Backstreet Boy turned up on Monday's episode of Dr. Phil to promote his new book, Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It, and spilled on his past struggles with drugs and alcohol and how he thinks his family held him responsible for his younger sister Leslie's tragic death from a drug overdose.
When asked by Dr. Phil McGraw whether he himself felt culpable in his 25-year-old popster sibling's untimely passing, the now sober 33-year-old Carter acknowledged it weighed on him.
"There's definitely a part of me that did blame myself. Because the responsibility that I sort of took on as the oldest member of my family probably shouldn't have been taken on," he told the talk show host.
The crooner acknowledged that life in the Carter household was tumultuous, and that after finding fame in his teens with the Backstreet Boys, he fell into drugs—first pot, then Vicodin and Ecstasy. All the while, as the eldest of five kids, he says he became the clan's breadwinner.
So it made losing Leslie that much harder.
"It was tough because you have to balance it out and find a way to move on as well take care of your family at the same time, so it's turmoil," he confessed.
As for getting the bad news, Carter called it "the most horrific news I've ever heard."
The boy bander also revealed that he didn't go to Leslie's funeral because of the reaction he says he received at first from his father, who informed him about her death, and then from his family.
"The reason I did not go was because I actually got the phone call from my father that she had passed and immediately the conversation turned into not about her death and not about the actual passing and what had occurred and more about themselves," he said. "And then I started to get blamed by the rest of the family."
Carter added that he felt such blame was "unfair" given how much he supported them throughout the years.
"I love my family like everyone loves their family, but there comes a point where you really have to ask yourself, 'Are you helping them or hurting them?'" Nick asked.
To watch the full interview, visit Dr. Phil's website.