Disney Channel Alum Hilary Duff Pays Tribute To Ex Aaron Carter After His Death At 34

Aaron Carter and Hilary Duff Dating in early aughts
(Image credit: Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Getty Images)

In the early aughts a slew of child stars rose to fame thanks to work on one of two networks: Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. Aaron Carter and Hilary Duff were two of the names to come out of that machine and even famously dated during that period. Duff was amongst the names of those who paid tribute to the former child star after Carter was found dead in his home earlier this weekend. He was 34. 

Taking to Instagram, Hilary Duff wrote about the “effervescent” nature of the young man she had known and, yes, that she even says she loved “deeply” during a period where both of the two were ascending in fame and notoriety. Years later, Duff has her own family and own children with ex-Mike Comrie and her husband Matthew Koma (he of the Candace Cameron Bure TikTok drama), but it’s clear the memories of that early relationship have stayed with her over time. She wrote of Carter: 

In the midst of Aaron Carter’s rise to prominence thanks to hits like “I Want Candy” and “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” the burgeoning star was asked to appear in an episode of the hit Disney Channel original series Lizzie McGuire, which happened to star Hilary Duff. Around that time, Carter had been linked to fellow teen actress Lindsay Lohan and, as reports indicated the younger Carter might have been cozying up with the Disney Channel star, reports of a feud between the two actresses had also swirled. 

Years later, all seemed to be bygones, as Duff even amusingly responded to a video of kids mistaking her for Lindsay Lohan.

Whatever did happen between the leading ladies, Duff and Carter did seemingly fall in love, at least for a little while, as the actress nodded to in her Instagram post, simultaneously paying tribute to the star after his death and looking back at a past period in her life. Long past her childhood years, the actress has moved on to adult projects including the charming series Younger (luckily the cast has moved on) and the HIMYM spinoff How I Met Your Father. HIMYF has already been renewed by Hulu for Season 2. But a lot of fans still fondly remember her from her early work. 

Aaron Carter and Hilary Duff at the Lizzie McGuire movie premiere.

(Image credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Meanwhile, Aaron Carter had previously written about his romance with the How I Met Your Father star on Twitter, advising fans "Don't be that stupid douche that loses the love of your life forever... Like me." He would also clarify those feelings in an interview with ET in 2014, in which he spoke fondly of his time with the Disney Channel alum.

I don't know who she is today, she doesn't know who I am today, but I would sweep her off her feet if I ever got a chance to again and fix what I did wrong.

He also told the outlet at the time he wasn't expecting a response from Hilary Duff, who was already married to Mike Comrie at that time. 

Carter had been making personal moves before he was found dead in his bathtub on Saturday.  A recent tweet indicated he was trying to sell a second home and make some money in a real estate market. He's also been growing a popular TikTok page. Though his relationship with Backstreet Boys brother Nick Carter was fraught with issues and he'd broken up with his fiancèe Melanie Martin in 2021, CinemaBlend's condolences go out to those who were impacted by the loss of the still-young star. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.