Content warning: This story contains discussion and description of claims of sexual assault
Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter has been sued for the alleged rape of a 17-year-old fan on his tour bus in 2001.
Shannon “Shay” Ruth, who is now 39, filed a civil lawsuit against the singer, 42, in Nevada court yesterday (Thursday, December 8), according to Billboard.
The woman said she waited more than 20 years to come forward with the accusation because she was afraid of retaliation.
In the suit, she said Carter selected her from a group of female fans seeking autographs following a Backstreet Boys show in Tacoma, Washington. The alleged victim claimed he then brought her onto the bus, gave her an alcoholic drink – which he is said to have called “VIP juice” – and repeatedly assaulted her.
Ruth’s lawyers wrote in the complaint: “He told plaintiff she would go to jail if she told anyone what happened between them.
“He said that he was Nick Carter, and that he had the power to do that. Due to his various threats, plaintiff did not report Carter’s crimes for many years.”
According to the lawsuit, Ruth was infected with the sexually-transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV) as a result of the alleged assault.
The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of three other unidentified accusers who allegedly experienced similar attacks by Carter between 2003 to 2006. It is claimed that all three of those women were provided with alcohol before being forced to have sex with the singer.
One of those three accusers was allegedly similarly underage to Ruth at the time.
Carter’s attorney Michael Holtz denied the allegations in a statement provided to Billboard.
“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” he said.
“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.”
Holtz added: “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 realise.”
In the lawsuit, it is claimed that Carter took Ruth to a bathroom and demanded that she perform oral sex on him after she had finished her alcoholic drink. “Alone and under duress, Plaintiff reluctantly complied with his demand,” it says. “Plaintiff cried during the ordeal.”
It is alleged that the singer then took Ruth to another room on the tour bus, and “pushed plaintiff down onto the bed and proceeded to mount her”.
She claimed that she “begged him to stop” and attempted to get away, but alleged that “every time she said ‘No’ and tried to get up, Carter got angry and pushed her down harder”.
Following the assault, Carter allegedly grabbed Ruth, called her a “retarded little bitch” and told her that nobody would believe her if she spoke out. Per the complaint, the alleged victim has autism and cerebral palsy.
Back in 2017, Nick Carter denied a rape accusation from former Dream singer Melissa Schuman, describing himself as “shocked and saddened” by the allegation and claiming that he thought their sexual encounter had been “consensual”.
Schuman later confirmed that she had filed a police report against the singer.