On Thursday, December 8, a woman named Shannon Ruth filed a lawsuit accusing singer Nick Carter of raping her on a Backstreet Boys tour bus in 2001 when she was 17 years old. The lawsuit was first reported by TMZ and Rolling Stone.
Carter has now issued a response to Heavy about the allegations and lawsuit.
Nick Carter Says the Allegations Are ‘Entirely Untrue’
In a statement to Heavy via his rep, Carter denied that any of the allegations are true, calling the case “legally meritless.”
The statement in full reads:
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.
Before Carter issued an initial statement, a source close to Carter told TMZ that the allegations are “categorically false” and said that Carter was “focusing on his family and mourning the death of his brother.”
Both Nick Carter and Aaron Carter are “Dancing With the Stars” alums. Nick finished runner-up in season 21 with partner Sharna Burgess and Aaron finished in fifth place on season 9 with partner Karina Smirnoff. Aaron Carter died on November 5 at the age of 34. According to TMZ, a cause of death is yet to be determined pending more tests.
Ruth Said In Her Press Conference That Her Life Has Been ‘Filled With Pain’ After What She Said Happened With Nick Carter
During the press conference with her lawyer Mark Baskovich and Marcy Hamilton, a representative from the civil rights organization Child USA, an organization that helps victims of child sex abuse, Ruth said that her life has been “filled with pain” after the incident she is alleging.
“The last 21 years of my life filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame, and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” said Ruth, adding, “Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe nothing has affected me more … than what Nick Carter did to me.”
“During our investigation, we spoke with other women that Carter also sexually assaulted and infected with HPV,” said Baskovich at the press conference. He went on to say that the other accusers’ stories were all very similar to Ruth’s and he encouraged others to come forward.
Ruth is not the first woman to accuse Carter of an incident like the one she detailed in her press conference on December 8. In 2018, a singer named Melissa Schuman accused Carter of a similar incident, which she detailed in a now-deleted blog post.
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.
Schuman said at the time of the alleged incident, her manager advised her against press charges because Carter was a much more powerful person in the entertainment industry than Schuman was.
Schuman told People in a statement when she filed her police report in 2018 that she felt “empowered” to come forward.
The statement read:
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.
At the time, Carter issued his own statement to People denying the allegations.
“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,” said Carter in the statement.