O-Town’s Ashley Parker Angel opens up about allegations of sexual misconduct against boy band svengali Lou Pearlman in an exclusive scene from the YouTube Originals documentary The Boy Band Con. The Lance Bass-produced film will debut on April 3rd.
When Angel joined O-Town via the reality show Making the Band, Pearlman’s relationships with his first two hit acts ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys had ended following messy lawsuits over money he had withheld from both groups. Still, there was a mythology around Pearlman for many aspiring pop stars given the immense success he had with those artists.
“You do want to work with one of the biggest names in music, so it’s a real dilemma you find yourself in,” Angel began. “It’s out there that Lou had this dark quality to him, that he would use his power and influence to manipulate young performers into these really questionable scenarios.”
Trans Continental Records employee Mike Cronin was the first person to let O-Town know about unspecified rumors around Pearlman’s alleged “thing for boys.” In Angel’s own experience, Pearlman would enter the O-Town rehearsal room sometimes asking the band members to take off their shirts and show off their abs.
“It feels like ‘Oh, this is part of having a mentor of a band who wants to make sure you’re in good shape,’ because that’s what he would always say,” Angel continued, noting that Pearlman would emphasize their jobs to sell teen magazines.
Mike Cronin’s brother and LFO’s lead singer Rich Cronin would allege even more serious concerns about Pearlman’s behavior, claiming to Howard Stern in 2009 that Pearlman “wanted to [seduce] everyone.” He also said that he needed therapy after his band’s time on Trans Continental.
“Eventually he did [try and touch me sexually] … some other dudes went for it,” Cronin said at the time. At the time, members of other acts Pearlman had founded like Nick Carter and Lance Bass did not corroborate these allegations of sexual misconduct or molestation. “And if you did [go for it], he took care of you. He’d buy ’em cars.”