Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor in 2001.
According to the lawsuit, first reported by TMZ and later obtained by Rolling Stone, Shannon Ruth, who was 17 at the time, claims she was invited by Carter, then 21, on the Backstreet Boys’ tour bus after a concert in Tacoma. Washington. Ruth also spoke at a press conference today.
A source close to Carter told TMZ that the allegations are “categorically false” and that “Nick is focusing on his family and is mourning the death of his brother,” singer and rapper Aaron Carter, who died last month at age 34.
According to legal documents, Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, was asked by Carter if she wanted a drink. When she asked for apple juice, he offered her cranberry. She says the red-colored drink, which Carter called “VIP juice,” tasted “yucky,” but she drank it so as not to be rude. She now believes it was a mixture of cranberry juice and alcohol.
The charges allege that Carter then led Ruth to the tour bus restroom and ordered her to perform oral sex on him. She says she cried all the time as he kept instructing her.
Ruth says Carter then put her to bed and continued to sexually assault her, calling her a “retarded little bitch” and saying no one would believe her saying she would tell people about his behavior.
“Just because Nick Carter is a celebrity doesn’t mean he’s exempt from his crimes,” Ruth said at the press conference. “I am a survivor and always will be.”
According to the documents, Ruth was a virgin at the time and contracted HPV after the encounter. She is now claiming compensation.
These aren’t the first sexual assault allegations against Carter. In 2018, Melissa Schuman, a former member of the girl band Dream, publicly claimed that Carter forced her to have sex “against my will” when he was 22 and she was 18.
Carter denied the allegations, saying in a statement: “I am shocked and saddened by Ms Schuman’s allegations. Melissa never said to me while we were together or at any other time since that everything we did wasn’t consensual… This is the first time I’m hearing about these allegations, almost two decades later. It is against my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause discomfort or harm to anyone.”
Schuman described being “traumatized” after the attack, saying she initially wanted to “put it in a box in my head and let the memories slowly suffocate as time went on”. She said she felt compelled to come forward after seeing “victim shaming” online from an unnamed woman who accused Carter and a friend of sexually assaulting her in 2006. hoping to extort money from him.”
The Guardian has reached out to Carter’s management for comment.