Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter has been accused of raping a 17-year-old girl.
A woman named Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed a lawsuit against the singer on Thursday, alleging the incident occurred in 2001 on a tour bus in Tacoma, Washington.
Ruth, who is now 39, filed the lawsuit in Las Vegas where Carter lives, according to a press release from her lawyers from Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard law firm.
Ruth is on the autism spectrum and has a mild case of cerebral palsy. She alleges she was on an autograph line when Carter, now 42, invited her onto his tour bus. He allegedly gave her a drink that tasted “funny,” calling it “VIP juice.” Ruth alleges he then took her to the bathroom, where he forced her to perform sexual acts.
Ruth also alleged Carter used a slur against her and that he told her not to tell anyone. She said the alleged incident lead her to commit acts of self harm. She also believes he transmitted HPV – a sexually transmitted virus that could cause cancer – to her.
“My main reason I’m here today is I want to stop Nick Carter from doing this to somebody else,” she said in a statement.
In a statement to CBS News, Carter’s attorney, Michael Holtz, said the “claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue.”
“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,” Holtz continued. “No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer – there is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realize.”
Variety reported that ABC pulled a Backstreet Boys holiday special that was set to air on Dec. 14 due to the accusations against Carter. CBS News confirmed that “A Very Backstreet Holiday” special has been canceled.
Ruth’s attorneys say in their investigation of Carter, they have found other victims who allege Carter abused them, too.
In 2004, tabloids accused Carter of abusing Paris Hilton, whom he dated, because she was seen with bruises on her body. Hilton has not publicly accused Carter of hurting her, and Carter has denied the rumors.
“If they need the media attention, let them do their thing,” Carter said in a statement to MTV at the time. “My family, friends and fans know that this is not my character and I would never hurt someone that I cared for or do anything like the malicious things they are claiming.”
In 2017, singer Melissa Schuman of the pop group Dream alleged Carter raped her when she was 18 and he was 22. Carter responded to the allegation in a statement to Entertainment Tonight, saying he was “shocked and saddened” by it.
“Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm,” he said.
Nick’s brother publicly accused his brother of abusing him, another family member and Hilton, in a series of tweets in 2019. The tweets came after Nick revealed he and his sister, Angel, obtained a restraining order against Aaron due to his “increasingly alarming behavior.”, also
Aaron made many disturbing accusations against family members in the tweets, including that Nick abused him his “whole life.” Days later, he tweeted that he loved his brother and family.
“I’ve been very hurt by the fact that my big brother has not made an effort to be part of my life for a long time. So therefore, I lashed out and said some hurtful things I did not mean to say,” he tweeted, according to Entertainment Tonight.