Former 'N Sync singer Lance Bass has revealed he is gay and is in a "very stable" relationship with AMAZING RACE reality TV star REICHEN LEHMKUHL.
The 27-year-old was afraid of coming out as a homosexual during his time with the US boy band because he feared his sexuality would damage the group's commercial prospects.
He tells US magazine People, "I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys' careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything.
"I didn't know. Could that be the end of 'N Sync? So I had that weight on me of like, 'Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it's bad.' So I just never did."
Since the boy band leaped to fame in 1997, his bandmates Justin Timberlake, Jc Chasez and Joey Fatone have been romantically linked to a host of female celebrities, but Bass' love life has remained low-key.
He adds, "The thing is, I'm not ashamed - that's the one thing I want to say. I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life. I'm just happy.
"The main reason I wanted to speak my mind was that (the rumours) really were starting to affect my daily life. Now it feels like it's on my terms. I'm at peace with my family, my friends, myself and God so there's really nothing else that I worry about."
Bass is currently developing a TV sitcom with Fatone in which his character will be a homosexual.
Fatone was the first 'N Sync member to find out Bass' sexuality.
He says, "He took years to really think about how he was going to tell everyone. I back him up 100 per cent."