AJ McLean is sharing painful details from the last time he saw Britney Spears — and also weighing in on her ongoing conservatorship battle.
During an appearance on SiriusXM’s "Andy Cohen Live" on Wednesday, the Backstreet Boys singer, 43, told host Andy Cohen that he was concerned when he ran into Spears, 39, at a cupcake shop in Los Angeles.
"The last time I saw her, it broke my heart. ... She was with a gentleman. I'm assuming it was security and/or maybe a driver because I know, based on her words — which I do believe 100% — she's not allowed to drive herself. She can't do anything, like, literally. She can't do anything," said McLean.
The "I Want It That Way" singer went on to say that despite knowing each other for more than two decades, Spears didn't recognize him at first.
"She looked right at me and I was like, ‘Hey, it's AJ.’ And she just kind of had this glass face. Like, she just didn't know who was there. It took her a minute," he recalled.
"And then she realized it was me and we hugged and we talked for a brief moment. But I could just see that, you know, this, this wasn't her. Like, I'm not looking at the person I knew from years and years ago," he added.
McLean had harsh words for Spears' family for keeping the pop star in her controversial conservatorship, which is controlled by her father, Jamie Spears. Britney Spears was placed in the conservatorship in 2008 after her public mental health breakdown.
"I've said this to a few friends recently that, you know, back in the beginning of this whole conservatorship, when everything happened about 13 years ago, you know, I could kind of empathize in that moment, maybe with her family, with how things transpired," said the singer.
He added, "But for it to go on this long I think is absolutely asinine. I think it's insane. I think it is completely brutal."
McLean's comments come less than a month after Britney Spears told a Los Angeles probate judge she's been "traumatized" by her controversial conservatorship.
During an explosive 20-minute testimony, which came after a decade of mostly silence on her part, Spears shared harrowing stories about the lack of control she has over her own life. At one point, Spears claimed that her conservatorship prevents her from removing an IUD so she cannot have another child. The singer told the court that her father and anyone else involved in the conservatorship "should be in jail."
On Wednesday, McLean told Cohen that he was horrified to hear of Spears' "IUD situation."
"I mean, that to me is physical abuse. Just the whole thing to me is just, it's grotesque," he said.
McLean described himself as "100% Team Britney," telling Cohen, "My prayers are with her."
"I really feel in my heart that she's going to break free of all of this, and I really hope that she does. She's a sweetheart," he said.