Backstreet Boys member and “Dancing With the Stars” season 21 contestant and season 24 guest judge Nick Carter has countersued a woman accusing him of rape, according to TMZ.
Shannon Ruth accused Carter of sexual battery in December 2022, as first reported by TMZ and Rolling Stone. Ruth said Carter raped her during the 2001 Backstreet Boys tour on a bus when she was 17 years old.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nick Carter’s Attorney Calls Ruth’s Accusations a ‘Malicious & Long-Running Conspiracy’
Carter’s attorney Michael Holtz told TMZ that Carter is the “target of a malicious and long-running conspiracy” on the part of Ruth and a father and daughter named Jerome and Melissa Schuman. Carter and his attorney maintain that Schuman, who accused Carter of sexual assault in 2018, has been coaching Ruth to make false accusations against him to extort money out of him.
“As our counterclaim sets out in detail, Nick has been the target of a malicious and long-running conspiracy. He has never done the outrageous things of which he has been accused; in fact, he is the victim of a calculated and concerted disinformation campaign designed to destroy his reputation,” Holtz told TMZ. “He looks forward to setting out the truth, vindicating himself in court, and putting an end to the smears and attempted shakedowns for good.”
According to TMZ, the countersuit says that the Schumans and Ruth tried to get Carter’s late brother Aaron Carter to support their claims before his death in November 2022. The countersuit says that the accusers preyed on “Aaron’s fragile condition and family stresses to cloak their defamatory campaign with credibility, relentlessly and repeatedly using Aaron to try to legitimize their frivolous tales.”
Mark Boskovich, the attorney for Ruth, told TMZ, “Why should Nick Carter be believed with his long history of abusing females? A jury will weigh the evidence and decide.”
The countersuit is seeking damages for $2.35 million that Carter says the Backstreet Boys have lost due to having to cancel appearances and losing endorsement deals as a result of Ruth’s accusations, according to TMZ.
ABC canceled the Backstreet Boys’ special “A Very Backstreet Holiday” in December after the allegations were made public.
Schuman & Ruth’s Accusations Against Carter Share Similarities
In her initial suit, Ruth said that Carter forced her to perform oral sex on him in the bathroom of the Backstreet Boys tour bus and continued to rape her on a bed, TMZ reported, adding that she claims to have contracted the sexually transmitted infection HPV through the assault. She is suing Carter on accusations of sexual battery and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to the outlet.
At a press conference in December 2022, Ruth said that even though she is autistic and has cerebral palsy, “nothing has affected [her] more” than “what Nick Carter did to [her].”
She added, “he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘r******* b****’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.”
Boskovich added, “During our investigation, we spoke with other women that Carter also sexually assaulted and infected with HPV.”
Carter issued a statement to Heavy through his representative denying Ruth’s accusations:
This 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. 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.
Schuman accused Carter of something similar in a now-deleted blog post in 2018. According to People, Schuman said in the blog post that Carter demanded Schuman perform oral sex on him and later raped her in a bedroom at his house.
At the time, Carter issued a statement to People that read, “I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. 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.”
In her own statement to People, Schuman said, “I was empowered to share my story because of the brave women who shared their stories before me. My hope is that my experience further highlights the urgent need for open dialogue and education about consent and sexual assault. To those who have shared their stories with me, I see you. I believe you. I stand with you.”