AJ McLean attends DWTS rehearsal after opening up trying cocaine for the first time at 22

An open book: AJ McLean recently spoke out about being 'an addict' and reflected on trying drugs for the first time in 2000. Seen here arriving to DWTS on Saturday

AJ McLean recently spoke out about being ‘an addict’ and reflected on trying drugs for the first time in 2000. 

‘I was introduced to cocaine literally the night that we shot the video for The Call,’ the Backstreet Boys singer, 42, told People on Friday. ‘It was the first time I ever tried it because it was a late-night shoot.’

He continued: ‘I was with a ‘friend’ at the time — who’s clearly not a friend anymore — and offered it to me. I said, ‘No.’ Then I caved and I did it.’

An open book: AJ McLean recently spoke out about being 'an addict' and reflected on trying drugs for the first time in 2000. Seen here arriving to DWTS on Saturday

An open book: AJ McLean recently spoke out about being ‘an addict’ and reflected on trying drugs for the first time in 2000. Seen here arriving to DWTS on Saturday

The frank admission came the day before the former boy-bander was seen arriving for his Dancing With The Stars rehearsal. 

As he prepared to go over choreography with Cheryl Burke before Monday night’s performance, the singer toted a warm beverage from Starbucks, a tuxedo jacket and a heavy-duty water bottle.  

In his interview with People, AJ said that once he showed up on the music video set back in 2000, he began telling ‘everybody’ he was ‘freaking out’ and was told to stop broadcasting he was high.  

‘Somehow someway, I kept it a secret from everyone for the next at least 18 months before the boys caught on, before my family caught on, before my real friends caught on. I found a way to really keep it under the rug,’ he reflected. 

Sporty: While prepping for his performance on Monday, he sported a white t-shirt, black shorts and a camouflage backpack

Prepared for anything: Boys alum competed his athletic look with a black baseball cap, matching sock

Staying hydrated: As he prepared to go over choreography with Cheryl Burke, the singer, 42, toted a warm beverage from Starbucks, a tuxedo jacket and a heavy-duty water bottle

Fit: Despite covering the majority of his face under a CDC-recommended face mask, McLean showed off his bulging and tattooed biceps in the parking lot

Fit: Despite covering the majority of his face under a CDC-recommended face mask, McLean showed off his bulging and tattooed biceps in the parking lot

While living as ‘an addict’, he revealed he didn’t see the sun for years, as he would ‘go to bed when the sun was rising’ and ‘wake up when the sun was down.’ 

He admits he was initially pulled to drugs and alcohol because they would ‘make those feelings of insecurity go away.’ 

However, using and drinking became a ‘big Band-Aid,’ which caused more problems. Ultimately, his former bandmates confronted him on July 8, 2001. 

While he was reluctant about seeking professional help, his pals were able to get him to go to treatment through encouragement and tough love. 

High on set: In addition to opening up about his sober lifestyle, McLean recently reflected on trying drugs for the first time in 2000, before shooting his band's music video's video, The Call

High on set: In addition to opening up about his sober lifestyle, McLean recently reflected on trying drugs for the first time in 2000, before shooting his band’s music video’s video, The Call 

'I was introduced to cocaine literally the night that we shot the video for The Call ,' he told People. 'It was the first time I ever tried it because it was a late-night shoot'

‘I was introduced to cocaine literally the night that we shot the video for The Call ,’ he told People. ‘It was the first time I ever tried it because it was a late-night shoot’

 McLean praised his bandmate, Kevin Richardson, for telling him: ‘I will never trust you again. You’re dead to me.’ 

Dubbing the comment as the ‘most crucial part of that conversation’ with the  Backstreet Boys, but it took many more years to reach his ‘moment of surrender.’ 

‘So literally 10 months ago, I went to go see my girl Shania Twain in Vegas,’ McLean revealed to the outlet. ‘Before I even got on the plane, I had already mapped out the whole night. I knew where I was going to go get my drugs. I knew where I was going to go get drunk.’ 

He continued: ‘I knew all of it and I figured, ‘Okay, it’s one night. As long as I don’t go past a certain time and I don’t smell like it, I can go have a nice last hurrah and then come back home. My wife won’t know; everything’s going to be great.’ 

Helpful: Using drugs and drinking were only a 'big Band-Aid' for his problems, until his former bandmates confronted him on July 8, 2001 about seeking treatment (seen in 2020)

Helpful: Using drugs and drinking were only a ‘big Band-Aid’ for his problems, until his former bandmates confronted him on July 8, 2001 about seeking treatment (seen in 2020)

Happier than ever: Since beginning his quest to take home the Mirrorball Trophy, the musician has shed about 15 pounds and talked about bonding with his dancing partner over sobriety; seen last week

Happier than ever: Since beginning his quest to take home the Mirrorball Trophy, the musician has shed about 15 pounds and talked about bonding with his dancing partner over sobriety; seen last week 

But, he ended up missing his first two returning flights and reeking of alcohol when arriving home to his wife Rochelle, 39, and daughters Ava, 6, and Lyric, 3.

‘My wife and I had always had this agreement, which was, if I smelled like alcohol, I wasn’t allowed to play with my kids — I couldn’t be around my kids. But what really hit me was the moment, my youngest daughter Lyric said to me that night, ‘You don’t smell like my daddy.’ And when she said that to me, that was it. Enough said. I felt disgusting.’

He says in that moment he ‘dropped to my knees’ and said, ‘God, I cannot do this on my own. I can’t. I have tried and I have failed miserably. So help a brother out.’

Since beginning his quest to take home the Mirrorball Trophy, the musician has shed about 15 pounds and talked about bonding with his dancing partner being sober. 

McLean praised his bandmate, Kevin Richardson, for telling him: 'I will never trust you again. You're dead to me' (pictured in 1995)

McLean praised his bandmate, Kevin Richardson, for telling him: ‘I will never trust you again. You’re dead to me’ (pictured in 1995)

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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