During an interview on “The Meredith Vieira” show today, former ‘NSYNC member Lance Bass revealed that he was “inappropriately [touched]” by someone that he worked with when he was 16 or 17, and appears to suggests that his fellow bandmates were also victimized.
Talking to Vieira and her panelists about actress Ashley Judd’s recent revelation that she was sexually harassed by a studio mogul during the ‘90s, Bass said that he too had experienced sexual abuse early in his career.
“It happens to men too. It’s a two-way street. It had happened to me when I was 16 or 17 years old,” Bass revealed.
“When we started, there was someone that we worked with that was inappropriately touching us. I wasn’t even aware then, at 16, that this guy was a pedophile and he was touching me. Oddly, I didn’t feel victimized at the time because I was very aware of it but it happened to us too.”
Bass said that he never reported the harassment, but that he talked about it with “the guys.” It is unclear whether or not he is referring to his NSYNC’ bandmates, although it appears that way.
“I mean, with the guys we would talk about it, we would kind of joke about it but it’s not a joking thing — but as a kid, it was just odd,” Bass said. “I am glad that we were aware of it and we didn’t feel victimized at the time.”
While Bass doesn’t name names, this isn't the first time there has been rumors of abuse by an individual associated with 'NSYNC. In 2007, Vanity Fair published an article that revealed molestation allegations against former Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC manager Lou Pearlman, although it included no first-person testimonies. Pearlman, who is now in jail for embezzlement, roundly denied the allegations in a THR piece last year.
In the same THR piece, Bass said that while he would “hear things” about Pearlman, the manager never crossed any line with him. "He'd always grab our arms and feel our muscles and go: 'Hey boys, you workin' out? Yeahhhh!’” Bass described at the time.