Backstreet Boys Christmas Special Pulled After Nick Carter Rape Allegation Surfaces

A Backstreet Boys Christmas special has been pulled from ABC's schedule, following new rape allegations against Nick Carter. According to Deadline, the musical event — which was set to debut on Dec. 14 at 8 pm ET — will no longer air and is being replaced by network comedy repeats. The decision comes after 39-year-old Shannon "Shay" Ruth filed a lawsuit claiming Carter raped her on the Backstreet Boys tour bus when she was 17, leaving her "infected with HPV."

"Carter tried to scare me into silence by saying no one would believe me if I told what happened," Ruth stated 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.

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."

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Notably, this is not the first time that Carter has faced rape and sexual misconduct allegations. In 2017, pop singers Melissa Schuman of Dream 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.