Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Former Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter told Dr. Phil McGraw that his family blamed him for his sister Leslie's death, and he didn't attend her funeral because of it.

Leslie Carter died in 2012 at age 25 of an overdose of prescription medication. On the day of her funeral, Carter performed a scheduled concert seven hours away from the services.

Carter said his relationship with his four siblings "has been toxic." He told McGraw that "the communication is something that I'm still to this day trying to work on. ... It's tough when you come from a background like that and a home that is really up and down and roller-coaster." The siblings starred in the reality show "House of Carters" in 2006.

Carter appeared on "Dr. Phil" to discuss his new book, "Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It," in which he is open about his past substance abuse and family issues.

Carter said his father called him to tell him Leslie had died, and that "immediately the conversation turned into not about her death and not about the actual passing and what had occurred, (but) more about themselves. ... And then I started to get blamed by the rest of the family."

McGraw explained to the audience that the Carter family felt that if Nick Carter "had been there" for Leslie, she might be alive today.

"I felt (that) was unfair, especially with all the things I have done," Carter said. "I love my family like everyone loves their family, but then there comes a point when you have to ask yourself if you're helping them, or hurting them."

He did feel at fault for his sister's death, Carter told McGraw. "There's definitely a part of me that did blame myself," he said. "I think that's because of the responsibility that I sort of took on as the oldest member in my family -- (and) probably should not have been taken on."

Carter's new book is dedicated to his late sister.