Nick Carter Countersues Sexual Assault Accuser for $2.3 Million
Nick Carter is facing a lawsuit from a woman who claims that he sexually assaulted her as a teenager, and now the Backstreet Boys singer is countersuing his accuser for $2.3 million. According to Entertainment Tonight, Carter's legal team also filed the lawsuit against Shannon "Shay" Ruth, as well as pop singer Melissa Schuman of Dream and her father, Jerome Schuman. Carter claims that the Schumans have been attempting to extort money from him for many years,
In their legal filing, Carter's attorneys claim Ruth's sexual assault lawsuit "is the culmination of an approximate five-year conspiracy orchestrated by Counter-Defendants to harass, defame and extort Carter." It goes on to allege "the campaign was launched and bolstered by the #MeToo movement, beginning at its dawn, when Counter-Defendant Melissa Schuman posted a salacious blog entry in November 2017, falsely asserting that she had been sexually assaulted by Carter in 2003." The lawsuit adds that, after being attacked by the Schumans, the pair "were all too eager to welcome a groveling Ruth into their scheme."
In December, Ruth filed a lawsuit claiming Carter raped her on the Backstreet Boys tour bus when she was 17, leaving her "infected with HPV." She claimed, "Carter tried to scare me into silence by saying no one would believe me if I told what happened," in a press conference, adding that Carter served her something called "VIP juice" before assaulting her. "He was nasty and threatening, saying I was going to jail if I told."
"He also said he'd turn people against me because he was Nick Carter and he had the power to wreck my life," she said. "Carter took away my childhood and my innocence, but he cannot and will not take away my strength or my truth. I am a survivor and always will be." Ruth states that she chose to come forward now to "stop Nick Carter from doing this to somebody else."
Ruth's attorney, Mark Boskovich, claims that an investigation into Ruth's allegations uncovered other alleged victims who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Carter and, like Ruth, "were all infected with HPV." He added, "I'm hoping other women will come forward and stand with Shay." Additionally, Boskovich noted that Ruth has a mild case of cerebral palsy, and is on the autism spectrum.
The Backstreet Boys have gone on the record as supporting Carter's position on the allegations, and Michael Holtz, Carter's lawyer, has released a statement on the suit, calling the allegations "not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue." Holtz added, "Unfortunately, for several years now, Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations against 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."
Notably, this is not the first time that Carter has faced rape and sexual misconduct allegations. In 2017, Schuman and Kaya Jones of the Pussycat Dolls both accused Carter of sexual abuse. It was also discovered that in the early 2000s an underage woman claimed she had sexual intercourse with Carter. The singer did not face charges for the multiple allegations.