Lance Bass is opening old wounds for 20/20. The *NSYNC member sat down with the ABC newsmagazine for "The Hitman From Pop to Prison," a two-hour special about Lou Pearlman and E! News has your exclusive sneak peek.
Pearlman, who at one point served as manager for Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and O-Town, ran one of the biggest Ponzi schemes ever. He admitted to swindling investors and banks out of millions, and was the subject of fraud and misrepresentation lawsuits brought against him by the musicians he managed. Those client cases were eventually settled. The 20/20 special features new interviews with Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick of *NSYNC, as well as O-Town's Jacob Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Trevor Penick and Dan Miller. The singers all open up about working with Pearlman as well as reflect on his personality. In the exclusive sneak peek above, Bass recalls hearing about Pearlman's death in 2016.
"When I heard that Lou Pearlman had passed away, I was so confused on exactly how to feel. I was like, ‘How could you die right now when we don't have this closure? You need to apologize! Like, there are so many people who are waiting for you to realize what you did,'" Bass says in the exclusive sneak peek. "And it pissed me off that he passed away."
In 2008, Pearlman plead guilty to charges and was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding. He died in prison from cardiac arrest in 2016.
Bass said when he heard about Pearlman's death, he experienced a wide range of emotions.
"You feel happy that no one else is going to be affected by him, and then you feel guilty because you feel that way. You loved him, you hated him, there are so many things that come out with Lou Pearlman," Bass said.
However, once he processed it all, he said he felt the story had ended and "we can all start healing."
20/20, which is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach, will air "The Hitman From Pop to Prison" on Friday, Dec. 13 at 9 p.m. on ABC.