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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.

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.


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Geez, give the guy some credit for taking the next steps to get sober! Did anyone expect AJ who has been fighting his illness for years be able to go on a cruise and not drink? Asking for a refund because one of the members of a group was intoxicated is the lamest thing I ever heard, sounds like those people are looking for a free vacation! Good Luck AJ, I know things will be better for you in the near future.

1345 days ago


hahah i love how when britney spears was going down he was preaching sobriety!!!! "pride Goethe before the fall "

1345 days ago


How about stop talking **** you no life punks? Slit your throats or gain a ****ing heart you spineless pricks. This is 2011 - calling guys a homo or referring to them as being gay for what ever reason is not cool and makes you sound ignorant. TMZ, go to hell you bunch of no-life trailer trash carpet munchers.. If you want to write an article, get your ****ing facts straight. Don't sit and make **** up. Get a real job that requires an education and/or talent instead of talking trash about people and making things up about them! You won't get far in life if all you do is spread rumors and make yourself look like an ignoramus.

1345 days ago


I was on the cruise and the picture was on the lido deck where they were talking and socializing with their fans, not on their private balcony. AJ was the one keeping the fans excited, he wasn't out of control. The only ones that complained was the passengers who booked the cruise and was not told that all those screaming girls would be on the boat and chasing the boys around.
We stayed on the same floor as the boys and was never bothered or awaken by them. AJ made a round one morning and knocked on decorated doors to surprise fans, but the doors were backstreet fans.
It was odd that you did not see him much with his girlfriend. The other boys stayed mild and with their gf or wives. But all of them were accessible and about the boat to have fun, but never out of control, even on the room floors.

1345 days ago


I would not admit if I was on ths cruise! Lmao Who cares!

1345 days ago


First of all Aj would never ever do anything to hurt his fans. He is a wonderful person and all you losers wishing death upon him will get yours in time. Karma is a B****. And they are not washed up. They still sell out shows and put on an amazing show. Get Better Aj we're behind you all the way. TMZ needs to know their facts before the smear someone.

1345 days ago


I'd trade my life for his anyday. Tho I think I'd be addicted to spicier things than alcohol.

1345 days ago


This is some made up bs
I was also on that cruise and he was never out of control
He was a sweetheart

1345 days ago


Wow. Just LOOK at all the perfect judges coming in here to sweep over with all the nasty generalizations that pop into their pea-sized brains. I suppose every one of you have no faults of your own to be able to stand in judgment of someone you don't even know? Right.

At least AJ realizes his habits have gone out of control and he put himself into rehab. Unlike some other celebs who wait until they've run into a tree, got caught doing drugs, drove drunk, etc. I guess if he had done one of those things TMZ would have an even bigger story to blow up. Maybe they're mad because AJ really isn't doing anything that spectacular, so they have to turn it into something more than what it simply is: A guy who has a substance abuse history, knows he needs more help, and actually goes and gets it on his own. Sorry he didn't run someone over with his car & kill them to make TMZ salivate hard. If the story isn't juicy enough, they'll fluff it up for attention, you can count on it. Lame.

1344 days ago


I don't think if he drinks a gallon of whiskey a day it will change the way he looks, no matter what at the end of the day he still looks like a Chimpanzee. Own it boy, get a cup and a leash and old guy with a Organ grinder and make some HONEST money.

LOL! Dude, Dr. Drew gave you an offer two years ago you should have taken it little boy.

1344 days ago


I think you guys are taking this to far its not like the judge forced him to go to rehab. Aj wanted to go himself.

1344 days ago


Hope he gets everything worked out, I plan on going to see Backstreet this summer.

1344 days ago


I hope his third stint in rehab does the trick. If he wants long term sobriety he's gonna have to go to aa.

1344 days ago


I wish AJ the best and I'm glad and proud of him for recognizing a problem and doing something about it.

1344 days ago


follow @backstreetboys

1344 days ago
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