- 09 Dec 22
Shannon "Shay" Ruth's attorney Mark J. Boskovich said three other women - named only as Jane Doe - are named in a joint lawsuit alongside his client.
Trigger warning: this article contains discussions of sexual violence.
Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter has been sued for sexual battery involving an incident with a minor in 2001, along with three others named only as "Jane Doe".
According to the lawsuit, first reported by TMZ and later obtained by Rolling Stone, Shannon "Shay" Ruth, who was 17 at the time, claims she was invited by 21-year-old Carter to the Backstreet Boys’ tour bus after a concert in Tacoma, Washington.
A source close to Carter told TMZ the accusations are “categorically false” and that “Nick is focusing on his family and mourning the death of his brother”, singer/rapper Aaron Carter, who died last month at age 34.
Legal documents say 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 “off”, but she drank it so as not to be rude. She believes it was a mixture of cranberry juice and alcohol.
The suit claims that Carter then led Ruth to the tour bus bathroom and ordered her to perform oral sex on him. She says she cried throughout as he continuously instructed her.
Ruth says Carter then took her to a bed and continued to sexually assault her, called her a “r******d little b****” and said no one would believe her if she spoke about the incident.
Carter, now 42, had "tried to scare me into silence", she said, adding that he had been "nasty and threatening".
“Just because Nick Carter is a celebrity does not mean that he is excused from his crimes,” Ruth said at the press conference. “I am a survivor and always will be.”
According to the documents, Ruth had never had sexual intercourse before and contracted HPV after the encounter.
Ms Ruth is seeking more than $30,000 (£24,000) in compensatory and punitive damages.
These are not the first allegations of sexual assault against Carter. In 2018, Melissa Schuman, a former member of the girl band Dream, publicly claimed 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 accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual...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.”
Schuman described being “traumatised” after the attack, saying she initially “wanted to lock it in a box in my mind and let the memories slowly suffocate as time went on”. She said she felt compelled to come forward after seeing online “victim shaming” of an unnamed woman who accused Carter and a friend of sexually assaulting her in 2006.
Carter’s representative said the woman “fabricated the claims against Nick for one simple reason – she was hoping to extort money from him”.
ABC will no longer be airing the Backstreet Boys holiday special following the allegations.
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre National 24-Hour Helpline: 1800 77 8888.