Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter files countersuit against rape accuser

Carter's countersuit aims to out "an end to the smears and attempted shakedowns for good"

Content warning: This story contains discussion and description of claims of sexual assault

Nick Carter has filed a countersuit against a woman who has claimed that he raped her when she was 17.

The alleged victim, Shannon Ruth, now 39, filed a civil lawsuit against the singer, 43, in Nevada court in December of last year. In it, Ruth claims that Carter invited her onto his tour bus following a concert in Tacoma, Washington in February 2001 and raped her and infected her with a sexually transmitted infection.

Carter, a member of Backstreet Boys, had denied the allegations in a statement through his lawyer to TMZ, saying that the countersuit that he filed yesterday (February 2) aims to put “an end to the smears and attempted shakedowns for good”.

According to court papers obtained by Rolling Stone, Carter filed his counter-complaint in Nevada yesterday and is seeking at least $2.35million (£1.93million) in damages.

Nick Carter
Nick Carter performing live – CREDIT: Getty

Carter alleged to TMZ that the damages total is the same amount that Ruth’s accusations have cost himself and his band in cancelled appearances and various deals.

Ruth, who describes herself as autistic and having cerebral palsy, recalled in a press conference what Carter allegedly said to her after the claimed assault: “After he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘r******d bitch’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.”

In the countersuit, Carter’s legal team accuse Ruth of being “manipulated into making false allegations” by Melissa Schuman – formerly a member of the ’00s girl band Dream – and her father, Jerome.

Schuman previously came forward in a blog post in November 2017, claiming that Carter forced himself upon her at his LA apartment and took her virginity.

Carter denied the allegations in a statement at the time, saying that Schuman had “never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual … It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm”.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the matter after Schuman filed a police report with the Santa Monica Police Department in February 2018, explaining that the statute of limitations had expired in 2013.

Last December, a Christmas TV special with Backstreet Boys was pulled following Ruth’s sexual assault allegations being levelled against Carter.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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