Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter has responded to 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”.
Carter, who was a founding member of the boy band when they formed in 1993, has been accused by Schuman of raping her at his apartment in 2002.
Writing in a blog post, Schuman alleged that the encounter happened when Carter invited her back to his Santa Monica apartment while the two were working together on a made-for-TV movie.
Writing that Carter “was aware that I was a virgin and that I held to religious conservative christian values”, Schuman says that Carter led her to a bathroom, where he then performed oral sex on her.
“I told him I didn’t want to go any further,” Schuman wrote. “He didn’t listen. He didn’t care. He told me: ‘Don’t worry. I won’t tell anybody.’
“Someone in the house knocked on the bathroom door. So he took me into the other bathroom to pick up where he left off. He then took off his pants. I will never forget this moment. He sat himself on the bathroom counter and asked me to perform oral sex on him. I declined, he was upset. He told me: ‘I did it for you and it’s only right you do it for me.'”
“I felt scared and trapped. He was visually and clearly growing very angry and impatient with me. I couldn’t leave. It was evident to me, that I couldn’t leave. He was stronger and much bigger than me, and there was no way I would be able to open that door or have anyone help me. My friend couldn’t help me, I didn’t even know where she was. So when he placed my hand on his penis my thought was the only way to get out was to get him to finish what he had started.
“That’s where I saw myself, my reflection, watching myself do something that I was sickened by. Watching myself be assaulted, forced to engage in an act against my will,” she continued. “Same as before his appetite was still not satisfied and now took me to the bedroom. It was late. The apartment was now dark and all you could hear was the remaining music in the living room. He threw me on the bed and climbed on top of me. Again, I told him that I was a virgin and I didn’t want to have sex. I told him that I was saving myself for my future husband. I said it over and over again. He whispered in my ear as to entice me: ‘I could be your husband.’
“He was relentless, refusing to take my no’s for an answer. He was heavy, too heavy to get out from under him. Then I felt it, he put something inside of me. I asked him what it was and he whispered in my ear once more: ‘It’s all me baby.’
“It was done. The one thing I had held as a virtue had been ruined. I went limp, turned my head to my left and decided I would just go to sleep now. I wanted to believe it was some sort of nightmare I was dreaming up.”
Schuman also said that after the incident she confided in her manager at the time, saying that she initially wanted to press charges against Carter.
“He later informed me that my abuser had the most powerful litigator in the country”, and that pressing charges “would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.”
Concluding, Schuman wrote: “I certainly don’t want to be ‘known’ for this. I never wanted anybody to know about my story. I wanted to lock it in a box in my mind and let the memories slowly suffocate as time went on. I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers.
“If you are reading this and you have been assaulted, know you don’t have to be silent and you are not alone. I know it’s scary. I’m scared. I believe you. I stand with you and together I hope we can bring light to things that have been lost in the darkness for so long. #MeToo”.
Carter has since issued a statement, denying Schuman’s account and saying: “I am shocked and saddened by Ms Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.”