The entertainment industry was rocked once when news broke that a Ponzi scheme in the hands of Lou Pearlman had stolen $300 million from his musicians and investors. This Friday, many of those who suffered of his accord didn't know how to react in the face of his death.
As NBC News reports, Pearlman died Friday in the midst of his 25-year prison term. He had been imprisoned since 2008. Oh No They Didn't reports that Pearlman had a stroke in prison at one point, and later had been transferred to a hospital for cardiac issues. He died of natural, heart-related causes.
Many members of the boy bands that he formed — and then stole from — reacted to Pearlman's death on Twitter.
"I hope he found some peace. God bless and RIP, Lou Pearlman," wrote Justin Timberlake. Fellow 'NSYNC members Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick acknowledged the elephant in the room: "Word is that #LouPearlman has passed away. He might not have been a stand up businessman , but I wouldn't be doing what I love today wout his influence. RIP Lou." Kirkpatrick was more succinct, writing, "Mixed emotions right now, but RIP Lou Pearlman." O-Town's Erik-Michael Estrada agreed, simply writing "mixed emotions" before diving into his feelings about the news.
I hope he found some peace. God bless and RIP, Lou Pearlman.— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) August 21, 2016
Mixed emotions right now, but RIP Lou Pearlman.— Chris Kirkpatrick (@IamCKirkpatrick) August 21, 2016
mixed emotions— ERIK-MICHAEL ESTRADA (@iamerikestrada) August 20, 2016
Many reasons I'm sad about the news. Primarily because we should be celebrating the man for his musical accomplishments. Instead.. we're not— ERIK-MICHAEL ESTRADA (@iamerikestrada) August 21, 2016
That said - I'm sorry for all the families and lives affected by his choices.— ERIK-MICHAEL ESTRADA (@iamerikestrada) August 21, 2016
Backstreet Boys members also came out to share mixed reactions at the news. AJ McLean says he felt "many emotions," the strongest of which was gratitude.
Many emotions at the news of Lou's passing. Without Lou I wouldn't have met my four brothers or had the opportunity of a lifetime. RIP.— AJ McLean (@skulleeroz) August 21, 2016
Saddens me to hear the news of Lou's death. Condolences go out to his family. Will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave to us.— Howie D (@howied) August 21, 2016
O-Town's Jacob Underwood hit the nail on the head: "He was always nice to me, even when he was stealing from me." Ashley Parker Angel acknowledged that he "let greed get in his way."
Hard to describe what I'm feeling.. He was always nice to me, even when he was stealing from me. RIP. https://t.co/Elyg4EgGHH— Jacob Underwood (@JacobUnderwood7) August 21, 2016
Power and money are not our legacy. It's the people we help, and the positive effect we have in the world. Praise God for life and love.— Jacob Underwood (@JacobUnderwood7) August 21, 2016
Pearlman's former proteges seem to share one thing in common — gratitude for the opportunities that he gave them.
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