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A.J. McLean -- The Downward Spiral

1/15/2011 2:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A.J. McLean's issues with substance abuse have been the source of MAJOR problems in the past several months ... and it got so bad, that staffers on the Backstreet Boys' tour threatened to walk if he didn't get help.

0114_aj_mclean_beer_ex
TMZ has learned A.J. -- who's struggled with abuse for years -- was so hammered and rowdy on a BB fan cruise last month, that several passengers lodged complaints ... with some even demanding a refund. 

One cruise staffer tells us  A.J. and his crew acted like "drunken fools" for the entire five-day trip.

But after the cruise, the abuse continued ... and more people in his life threatened to jump ship.

Sources close to the singer tell us A.J. became so difficult to work with during rehearsals for the upcoming BB tour that multiple people were "ready to quit."

Fortunately, A.J. decided to check himself into rehab a few days ago -- but he insists he'll be ready to go for his upcoming tour.

46 COMMENTS

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1.

American Mom    

I believe I'm FIRST!!!!!!!!!

1291 days ago
2.

Jim in Cali    

Honestly who cares about the Backstreet Boys. What is this year 2000?

1291 days ago
3.

Andrew    

Can you please be more sensitive? It shouldn't matter if your a fan of his music, what should matter is that he has a serious issue he has struggled with over the years and it is always lingering. Show a little tact when commenting and show some more if you cover this on the show. He is one of the good guys who just happens to be fighting some inner demons right now. No one is perfect.

1291 days ago
4.

Sam    

I was on that cruise and this story is a complete crock. None of those things happened at all! Remember when TMZ used to report on actual celebrity stories instead of made up bull****?

1291 days ago
5.

saywhat    

this story is a crock of poo. Everyone had a blast on that cruise. I did not go on this cruise, but those who were near AJ said that he knew his limits of drinking.The ones that are "complaning" are probably the ones that thought they could get close to the boys and they are mad because it never happened.You guys need to get your stories correct before publishing them. most of the people i've talked to loved the cruise and had a blast..

1291 days ago
6.

Charlotte    

Jesus, He is only human. These guys have been working non stop and anyone who has an addiction, would know that he would be prone to relapse. He needed a better support system. Believe me you can trash talk AJ McClean and the Backstreet Boys all you want but they will keep coming back. There fans are fierce, loyal and understanding. Why can't all people be that way?

1291 days ago
7.

bryan    

WoW.. Give this dude a break. He sees that he has a problem; he makes proactive steps to help himself. He makes a move,(a good one) You dip ****s are criticizing him??? Can we put a microscope on ur life? REALLY?? Get a grip u turd lickers. As a former addict, I am very well aware of his struggles. Don't be sooo critical unless u have the "Leave it to Beaver" life. if you do,, good for you. I am really happy for you. Keep in mind, not all of us have been soo fortunate. This dude is just struggling=) I am rooting for him. Back Street Boy or NOT, he is a good dude. =) Eff you TMZer'z if you are that shallow. The man needs help and support. Please be there for him. FYI, im not GAY just compassionate and respectful. JUST BE KIND. PLEASE!

1291 days ago
8.

Mike    

lame

1291 days ago
9.

pollypurebred    

Actually, this is the second time he's admitted he has a problem. He's in an environment that supports relapse at every turn.

If people had his best interests at heart, they would go on without him and allow him to work on his recovery. Recovery is work, it doesn't just magically stick after 30/60.../90 days of sober living.

Why would anyone serious about recovery go to rehab and then jump pack into a drug and alcohol induced environment?

You can't have a career if you don't have a life.

1291 days ago
10.

al    

This story is BS. I went on the cruise and he was sober for all BSB related events. At night, everyone was wasted. He drank at night, as well as the entire entourage. No fan demanded a refund because nothing was affected. All the events went off without a hitch and everyone had a blast. Plus, he did not carry drinks around with fans present. That photo posted was at their private balcony, not on display. I'm glad he's getting help if he needs it, but I think it's being blown waaaay out of proportion.

1291 days ago
11.

Ashley    

" Actually, this is the second time he's admitted he has a problem. He's in an environment that supports relapse at every turn.

If people had his best interests at heart, they would go on without him and allow him to work on his recovery. Recovery is work, it doesn't just magically stick after 30/60....../90 days of sober living.

Why would anyone serious about recovery go to rehab and then jump pack into a drug and alcohol induced environment?

You can't have a career if you don't have a life."

I agree. Also considering he's an alcoholic he never should have been drinking even the first sip during the cruise or anytime. Anyone who excuses his drinking or drinks right along with him obviously doesn't have his best interests at heart. Those closest to him obviously don't care too much or they wouldn't have been partying it up right with him. You don't party with an alcoholic, you encourage them not to drink.

1291 days ago
12.

MIDNIGHT TOKER    

I was on that cruise and this story is a complete crock. None of those things happened at all! Remember when TMZ used to report on actual celebrity stories instead of made up bull****?

Posted at 3:43 AM on Jan 15, 2011 by Sam
you forgot to mention you were a towel boy in the bottem of the ship and never made it to the upper first class decks where the real people stay

1291 days ago
13.

spinner25    

Since when is drinking "substance abuse"?

I hope he sues TMZ for libel.

1291 days ago
14.

Joao    

I knew there was a story behind his epiphany to go to rehab. The BB are washed up and A.J. needs to wake up and smell the coffee. These are not the good-old-days, nobody going to tolerate his antics and you can't make a living on doing has-been, f-list celebrity shows.

1291 days ago
15.

Sara    

You know even if AJ was hammered, he deeply cared about the fans. I find it hard to believe that if actual people were on that cruise and say this isn't true, then I don't think TMZ has all there facts straight. Even when AJ was having problems before, he still did concerts, and music videos for the fans. Aj is going to get better and this tour is gonna rock!

1291 days ago
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