updated 05/18/2007 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/18/2007 AT 4:00 PM ET
Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter has been tight-lipped when it comes to dishing on his ex-flame Paris Hilton’s DUI-related woes, but he readily admits his run-in with the law taught him some valuable lessons.
“I got a DUI, I did the classes and I went in and did my AA meetings that they made me do,” Carter said Thursday in Washington D.C. at an event to promote conservation of marine life. “And because I did, I will never ever get behind the wheel and drink again. I learned so much and it was so good for me.”
Carter, who was recently appointed Special Ambassador for the Year of the Dolphin by the United Nations Environment Programme Convention on Migratory Species, was charged with driving under the influence in 2005 and attended alcohol education classes.
He says he is a better person today because he didn’t receive special treatment as a celebrity. “As far as celebrities go and getting treated differently, it didn’t happen for me. I did everything I was supposed to do when they told me to do it. It helped me so much.”
Asked by the Washington Post about Hilton’s recent trouble with the law, Carter would only say, ” I, uh, want to leave that negativity and that lifestyle behind and pursue things that actually mean something, you know?”
Now, Carter is looking to help dolphins and oceans – a cause he says he’s been interested in since childhood. “I grew up in Florida, and from a very young age I enjoyed every aspect of the ocean and all of its beautiful living creatures,” says Carter. “My greatest sanctuary away from all of the stress – touring, busy schedules, performing – is still the big, blue sea.”
To help raise funds for the cause Carter will participate in a public service announcement and plans to launch a Web site in coming months and release a “cool song” dedicated to the dolphins.
His other plans include working on a new album with his Backstreet brethren and shooting an independent film called Fast Glass.