Openly gay Lance Bass, formerly of the enormously successful boy band *NSYNC, has produced a new documentary that chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of his former boy band producer titled, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story.
In the 1990s, Lou Pearlman became fascinated by the success of the New Kids on the Block and set out to replicate their business model.
Beginning with the Backstreet Boys, the best-selling boy band of all time racking up over 130 million records sold, the music impresario would go on to create and manage the bands *NSYNC, O-Town, LFO, Take 5 and US5.
All of those acts would eventually sue him in court for fraud and misrepresentation.
In 2008, Pearlman would be convicted of perpetuating a huge Ponzi scheme that bilked over $300 million from investors. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, where he would eventually die in 2016 at the age of 62.
Along the way, there were also allegations (never proven) of inappropriate sexual advances to the boys of his bands.
In 2009, Rich Cronin of LFO told Howard Stern that auditioning for Pearlman included the producer asking Cronin to take his shirt off and then massaging the singer’s bare shoulders.
When Stern asked if Pearlman ever made a sexual move on him, Cronin reportedly replied, “Eventually he did – some other dudes went for it. And if you did, he took care of you. He’d buy them cars…”
The new documentary, available on YouTube Originals on April 3, is the first time Boy Band members themselves have shared their perspective on Pearlman’s story.
Taking part in the testimonials are Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick (*NSYNC), AJ McLean (Backstreet Boys), Aaron Carter and Ashley Parker Angel (O-Town).
In the trailer, several of the band members express their surprise when they finally starting making money, but not nearly what they felt they deserved after selling millions of records.
Bass presented The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story at Austin's SXSW Festival this week, and sat down with local ABC affiliate KVUE to talk up the new film.