Music News

Nick Carter of The Backstreet Boys performs onstage at the 2018 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 6, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Backstreet Boys’ frontman Nick Carter is being sued by a 39-year-old woman with autism and cerebral palsy on allegations that he raped her in 2001. Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed a sexual battery lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada, on Thursday (December 8) in which she claims that Carter gave her alcohol and assaulted her after a concert in Tacoma, Washington when she was 17. Carter, 42, has denied the allegation in a statement provided to CNN by his attorney Michael Holtz.

“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, for several years now, Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations about Nick – and those allegations have changed repeatedly and materially over time.”

Ruth alleges in her complaint that Carter picked her out of a line of autograph seekers, invited her on his tour bus and gave her “VIP juice,” which she believes was a mixture of cranberry juice and alcohol. After the alleged assault, Ruth says she contracted “the human papillomavirus (commonly known as HPV), a sexually transmitted infection known to cause health problems such as genital warts and cervical cancer,” according to the complaint.

During a press conference held in Beverly Hills, California, yesterday, Ruth said, “The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame, and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me.” No criminal charges have been filed with the alleged assault, but ABC has pulled a holiday special headlining the Backstreet Boys next week. “A Very Backstreet Holiday,” was set to air Wednesday, December 14. Previously aired comedies will be broadcast instead.

In 2017, Carter was accused of raping former pop singer Melissa Schuman 15 years prior. Prosecutors opted not to pursue it because the statute of limitations had expired. “Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual,” Carter said in the statement. “We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.”