According to Helgeson, the two were meeting up because Carter had intentions of working on a new album. He had also recently finished production on a sitcom pilot and had been working on a memoir.
When Helgeson met with him at a music studio, he said he found Carter “looked thin. He was extremely tired.” Carter, who has struggled with substance abuse for years, had checked himself into an outpatient program in September, in order to try and regain custody of his son Prince.
Helgeson described a confusing mismatch between Carter’s appearance and behavior, describing him as “the most excited I’ve seen him in months. He was very intelligent and he was very conscious of what people wanted to see from him.”
While Carter appeared alert and excited about what was to come, Helgeson said that “he didn’t seem okay physically.” But that enthusiasm for the future is why Hegelson is certain Carter’s death was not a suicide. An official cause of death has not yet been determined, awaiting toxicology.
According to TMZ, who first reported the news, the “Aaron’s Party” singer was found dead at his Lancaster, CA home on November 5.
“He was a guy with a lot of plans,” he explained. “We had so much stuff going on and, you know, Aaron was a really prideful guy in his own right, too. That’s not his style.”
In the wake of his death, Big Umbrella Management has been resistant to new music being released because they want to make sure it is done properly — though Carter’s label, Sony — to make sure that any monies received go “to the right places, i.e. his son.”
For the time being, they have no plans to promote any of the work Carter had been working on toward the end of his life. “Right now, we are grieving and we are not interested in projects,” he said.
His team joined Hilary Duff in calling out Ballast Books for announcing an intended November 10 release for his unfinished memoir, calling it a “heartless money grab.” Carter had been working on the book for three years with co-author Andy Symonds via interviews.
In a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter, Ballast announced that the project had been delayed “out of respect for the Carter family.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline (1-800-662-4357) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.