In the wake Ashley Judd’s troubling confession that she was once sexually harassed by a well-known movie mogul, Lance Bass is sharing a troubling secret from his own past — he says a “pedophile” touched him “inappropriately” back when the now 36-year-old was a member of the boy band, NSYNC.
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“This also happens to men, too. It’s a two-way street. It had happened to me,” he said during an appearance on The Meredith Viera Show earlier today.
“When we started, there was someone that we worked with that was inappropriately touching us. I was even aware then, at 16, that this guy was a pedophile and he was touching me oddly.”
Lance says he was a teen when things got inappropriate with an adult. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
He went on to say that he and his NSYNC band mates discussed it at the time, but the conversations weren’t serious or heavy.
“With the guys, we would kind of talk about it, joke about it, but it’s not a joking thing…I’m glad we were aware of it and we didn’t feel victimized at all,” he explained.
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While Lance didn’t name the alleged “pedophile,” there has long been speculation that Lou Pearlman — who “discovered” both NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys and managed the boy bands — had inappropriate conduct with the young men he worked with. The rumors were most notably detailed in a 2007 Vanity Fair article titled “Mad About the Boys.”
Lance and his bandmates in 1998. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Lance had previously spoken about Mr. Pearlman’s unusual behavior with the young men.
“He’d always grab our arms and feel our muscles and go: Hey boys, you workin’ out? Yeahhhh!’” he told The Hollywood Reporter last year, while maintaining the manager never “crossed the line” with him.
“Even as a young guy, I assumed that Lou was probably gay. It didn’t really bother me. I knew then that I was gay, so I kind of related to him in a way.”
Pearlman — who is currently behind bars, serving a 25-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding — has dismissed the allegations as baseless, noting no accusers have ever come forward to substantiate the rumors.
Check out Lance discussing the “inappropriate touching” on The Meredith Viera Show: