The duo previously dated on and off between 2000 and 2003.
Duff, who famously dated Carter on and off between 2000 and 2003, remembered the late musician’s charm in a statement shared on Instagram after he was found dead at his Lancaster, Calif., home on Saturday. He was 34.
“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,” Duff wrote. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent… boy did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time.”
Duff and Carter became a tween power couple when they began dating at the age of 13. The late musician also made an appearance on Duff’s Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire, as himself, in the season 1 episode, “Here Comes Aaron Carter.” Following the couple’s split, news of a love triangle involving Lindsay Lohan dominated headlines.
In 2012, Carter stopped by Fox News and said that he would “always” love Duff, who was married to ex-husband Mike Comrie at the time and pregnant with her first child. “I’m really happy for her that she’s in a successful relationship and that she’s going to have a baby,” Carter said. “Sometimes I think to myself, maybe that could have been me, but it is what it is.” He added, “She knows I will always love her.”
Duff is now married to singer and record producer Matthew Koma, with whom she shares two children. Carter is survived by an 11-month-old son he shared with former fiancée Melanie Martin.