“Dancing With the Stars” season 21 runner-up and Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter filed a countersuit in early February in response to a woman named Shannon Ruth bringing a lawsuit against him that claims he raped her when she was underage and attending a Backstreet Boys concert.
Ruth has now filed a motion to dismiss Carter’s countersuit, according to “Entertainment Tonight.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Shannon Ruth Filed an Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss Nick Carter’s Countersuit
According to “Entertainment Tonight,” Ruth has filed an Anti-SLAPP motion in Clark County, Nevada that asks the court to dismiss Carter’s countersuit on the grounds that he is using it to intidimate and harass her.
“SLAPP” stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” and an Anti-SLAPP motion seeks to get meritless lawsuits dismissed if they are used in “an effort to intimidate a person or business into silence” by “burden[ing] the defendant with litigation costs,” according to Bona Law.
Ruth’s Anti-SLAPP motion reads, “Carter’s Counterclaim is clearly intended for no other purpose than to harass, intimate, and potentially silence [Ruth]. He seeks to use his wealth and celebrity status to outlast Plaintiff, intimidate her, and possibly even silence her. All while hiding behind being the ‘victim’ of the ‘#MeToo’ Movement and the preposterous notion that [Ruth] is only seeking attention and publicity. … This is the very definition of a SLAPP lawsuit, and it should not be allowed to progress.”
Ruth’s motion requests that Carter’s countersuit be dismissed and that he be responsible for covering her court costs and attorney’s fees related to the countersuit.
Nick Carter is Suing Shannon Ruth For $2.3 Million in Damages, Alleging Her Accusation is a Conspiracy
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.
In early February, Carter responded to the accusations with a countersuit seeking $2.3 million in damages, according to TMZ.
“As our counterclaim sets out in detail, Nick has been the target of a malicious and long-running conspiracy,” Carter’s attorney Michael Holtz told TMZ. “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. 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, Carter is accusing Ruth of working together with a father and daughter named Jerome and Melissa Schuman to extort money from him. Melissa Schuman accused Carter of sexual assault in a now-deleted 2018 blog post. Her accusations share similarities with Ruth’s accusations.
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, which is similar to what Ruth said happened on a Backstreet Boys tour bus in 2001.
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.”
Carter’s countersuit claims 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.
At Ruth’s press conference in December 2022 with her attorney Mark Boskovich, Ruth, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, said that Carter raped her and called her “a ‘r******* b****.'”
Boskovich added, “During our investigation, we spoke with other women that Carter also sexually assaulted and infected with HPV.”
At the time, Carter issued a statement to Heavy through his representative that denied all 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,” said Carter in his statement.