Leslie Carter Ashton: Depression, Addiction, Quest For Fame Led to Tragic Death

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The late Leslie Carter (married name Leslie Carter Ashton) died earlier this week.

While Leslie Carter's cause of death was an apparent overdose of prescription drugs, the 25-year-old's trouble with depression was a long time in the making.

It stemmed in large part from the fact that "She thought she would become the next famous Carter sibling," says a source who once managed her brothers.

In Leslie's case, although signed to DreamWorks Records, stardom eluded her.

Backstreet Boys singer Nick, of course, became very successful, as did younger brother Aaron. Leslie (below, right) felt great pressure to follow in their footsteps.

Leslie Carter, House of Carters

"She was always extremely happy for her brothers, don't get me wrong," says the source, in an interview with People magazine. "But it was tough for her."

According to sources close to the family, Leslie remained supportive of her brothers. At various family events, she would happily appear alongside them.

When all five siblings signed on for the E! show House of Carters, Leslie was an enthusiastic participant. "She really loved the attention," says the source.

But according to a police report, Leslie's stepmother, Ginger, stated that Leslie "had a history of mental illness and was on medication for her depression."

Life in the Carter family was nearly always chaotic.

In 2003, Aaron Carter went so far as to file for legal emancipation from his mother, Jane Carter, after accusing her of mismanaging his money.

The next year, Jane Carter was arrested and charged with battery in an alleged attack on her estranged husband's then-girlfriend, Ginger Elrod.

In 2005, big brother Nick was arrested for DUI in Southern California.

In 2008, 20-year-old Aaron was charged with marijuana possession.

Leslie, who was married and has a one-year-old daughter, remained close to both brothers, but felt increasingly lost in her own life. Says the source:

"This is a family who has had a lot of problems. At any given time, I didn't know who was speaking to who, who was in trouble, who was clean."

Leslie (she was estranged from her husband) was living with her father, Robert, in Buffalo N.Y., as she tried to wean herself off of medication.

Tragically, she couldn't in time.

Three prescription bottles were found at the scene were she was unresponsive: Olanzapine, used to treat schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, the muscle relaxant Cyclobenzaprine, and the anxiety medication Xanax.

Sources close to the Carters say the tragedy has hit the family hard. Just hours after Leslie's death, Aaron Carter posted on her Facebook page:

"RIP my dearest sister. I love u."

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