A love triangle and pointed lyrics: Exactly what happened between Aaron, Hilary and Lindsay.

Time has a funny way of making us forget notable pop culture moments in history – and it's the case for the love triangle between Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan and Aaron Carter. 

In 2001, Hilary, Aaron and Lindsay were the coolest pre-teens in Hollywood. 

After reaching fame in their younger years through acting and performing, the trio were arguably in a strange period of their lives because although they were wealthy, considered beautiful and had enviable careers already – they were still entirely under the thumb of their agencies and parents.

Watch this clip of Aaron Carter meeting Hilary Duff on Lizzie McGuire. Post continues after video. 

Video via Disney.

Aaron and Hilary met on the set of Lizzie McGuirethe cult favourite Disney Channel show, while he was guest-starring in their Christmas episode. 

Aaron appeared as himself, and Lizzie played an eager teenage fan with a huge crush on the pop star. After crashing his Christmas music video shoot, they shared a kiss. 

The Lizzie Mcguire Show. Image: Disney.


At the time, they were just 13 years old and immediately began dating. 

They eventually broke up in 2003 and reconciled a short while later.

In 2005, Aaron admitted he had cheated on Hilary with "her best friend", leading to the breakdown of their relationship. 

"I ended up cheating on Hilary with her best friend," the singer said during an interview with Donny Deutsch. "That's nothing to smile about. She really got her heart broken from me and I'm sorry for that."


The "best friend" in question? None other than a 15-year-old Lindsay Lohan. 

Even Hilary's 2002 song 'Haters' was rumoured to be about their sordid love triangle with the actor thanks to the lyrics which read: "You say your boyfriend's sweet and kind, but you've got your eyes on mine, your best friend's got her eyes on yours, it all goes on behind closed doors."

Lindsay Lohan and Aaron Carter, 2003. Image: Getty.


At the time, Aaron admitted he had gotten "bored" of dating Hilary, who had developed a reputation as America's Sweetheart. 

"I was dating [Hilary] for like a year and a half, and then I just got a little bored so I went and I started getting to know Lindsay," he told CNBC in 2005.

The pair didn't last long after reconciling and split up a short while later after attending her big Lizzie McGuire Movie premiere. According to reports, they decided to call it quits after he allegedly cheated on the teen actor (again) with someone else. 

Hilary Duff and Aaron Carter, 2003. Image: Getty.


In the meantime, Lindsay and Hilary's fued heated up when Hilary attended the Freaky Friday red carpet, which was a movie that Lindsay was the lead actress in. Lindsay's response was to show up to the Cheaper by the Dozen premiere – a film that Hilary was starring in.

Things then escalated while Hilary was filming for the rom-com A Cinderella Story, in which she acted alongside Chad Michael Murray as his on-screen love interest. Chad had previously starred as Lindsay's love interest in Freaky Friday. 

According to reports, Lindsay rang Chad and began to trash talk Hilary, which ruined what little respect the pair might have had for one another.

Then in an SNL skit in 2004, Lindsay made fun of Hilary, which the actor responded to by banning her from the A Cinderella Story premiere.

Lindsay Lohan on SNL. Image: SNL.


Later that year, Hilary told Blender magazine: "Sometimes, I really hate Lindsay Lohan."

In another interview, she told Access Hollywood: "I’m not here to talk bad about her like she talks bad about me all the time... I don't think it's an honour to be made fun of on Saturday Night Live."

The feud reached a boiling point when in December 2004, Hilary began dating Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, who refused to give Lindsay's eight-year-old brother an autograph until his sister "apologised" to Hilary. 

The two actors finally put their beef to rest, once and for all when in 2007, Hilary told People: "We are both adults, and whatever happened, happened when we were young... It's over."


Lindsay even went on to attend Hilary’s album party for Dignity. "She’s really fun," Hilary later said of the actor. "We were hanging out the other night, and she’s a nice girl."

Aaron, who had tapped out of the feud he had arguably helped to create, admitted he would "always" love Hilary, who was married to now-ex-husband Mike Comrie at the time and pregnant with her first child. 

Listen to The Spill, Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast. Post continues after audio. 

"I'm really happy for her that she's in a successful relationship and that she's going to have a baby," he said. "Sometimes I think to myself, maybe that could have been me, but it is what it is... She knows I will always love her."

He went on to mention his love for his ex-girlfriend again in 2014, telling Entertainment Tonight he was "never going to give up on Hilary, ever". 

In response, Hilary told BuzzFeed she wasn't quite sure how to feel in an interview that same year. "I don't know how I feel," she said. "I mean, that was so long ago, and obviously I'm still married, and I have a baby and we kind of just... don't know each other."

Aaron died eight years later, in November 2022, at the age of 34. 


Following reports of his passing, Hilary took to Instagram to grieve her ex-boyfriend.

"For Aaron, I'm deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world," she wrote in a public post. "You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent... Boy did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time. Rest easy."

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