Lou Pearlman has kept a low profile in a Florida penitentiary for the past four months on accusations of bilking investors out of $500 million. He has refused to speak to media outlets.
However, the boy-band impresario -- of 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys fame
-- has come out swinging against Bryan Burrough's November Vanity Fair article alleging Pearlman, 53, engaged in a slew inappropriate relations with many of the young bandmates.
Pearlman broke his media silence in an exclusive interview with Radar magazine in response to the article.
"A great deal of that story needs to be corrected," Pearlman told Radar. "This article is clearly biased and one-sided without substantial evidence."
Pearlman denied charges that he showed band members porn and took them to strip clubs. "I never had secrets kept from parents. Especially since at least one parent was always around to chaperone and drive the boys. I never showed any of our artists any porn," Pearlman said. "What strip club do you know that would let minors in? Therefore, NO, I never took any minors to strip clubs."
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Pearlman also fired back at accusations he gave massages to band members. "I paid for professional masseuses to give massages to our artists. I have no idea where this question is going. It is also true that I do not own a Neverland Ranch."
Former Take 5 member Tim Christofore alleges Pearlman, clad in only a towel, took a swan dive on a bed full of young boys and wrestled with them. "T.J. (Christofore) is making up this story. ... The fact that he never mentioned this in court should tell you where he's coming from," Pearlman said. "He's just trying to join the lynch party. Besides, I've never owned a towel that could wrap all the way around me anyway."
Despite the bevy of accusations, few expect the band members to come forward. "None of these kids will ever admit anything happened," an attorney who has sued Pearlman for a contract dispute told Bryan Burrough. "They're all too ashamed, and if the truth came out it would ruin their careers."
More than a dozen insiders told Burrough they had heard tales of Pearlman's behavior while insisting they experienced nothing untoward themselves. Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was tepid on the subject. "This is something that's been going on for years, talks and allegations," the Backstreet Boys' youngest member said. "It's kinda old news, you know what I mean? So, really, there's no comment on the issue."
Burrough was unavailable for immediate comment, but a Vanity Fair spokesperson told Page Six, "Mr. Pearlman's comments are ludicrous. We stand by our story." The article hit news stands in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 3 and nationally on Oct. 9.