Nick Carter Performs With Backstreet Boys at Jingle Ball Despite Rape Allegations

Despite ABC canceling the Backstreet Boys' Christmas special, A Very Backstreet Holiday, Nick Carter still took the stage with his bandmates at the 2022 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden. The special was scheduled to air on Dec. 14, featuring Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, and others, with the band slated to perform songs from their 10th album A Very Backstreet Christmas. But it was canned after Carter was accused of sexual battery, stemming from an alleged incident 20 years ago. At the Jungle Ball, Backstreet Boys hit the stage to perform some of their iconic hits like "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" and "I Want It That Way."

TMZ reports Shannon Ruth has accused Carter of assaulting her in 2001. According to her version of events, says she was invited by Carter on his tour bus after a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, WA. Ruth, who has both autism and cerebral palsy, says Carter asked if she wanted a drink. He reportedly gave her cranberry, instead of apple juice that she requested. But she says Carter gave her a "VIP drink" that she believes was a mix of alcohol and cranberry juice.

After having the drink, Ruth claims Carter ordered her to perform oral sex on him. She says she did as she was instructed but was uncomfortable and crying. Ruth says Carter continued to assault her on a bed on the tour bus. When she says she threatened to tell, Carter yelled obscenities at her. Claiming she was a virgin at the time, she says she contracted HPV from the incident. Ruth now seeks damages.

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Carter has denied the allegations. His attorney told TMZ: "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."