Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter has countered a woman who last year accused the singer of assaulting her and contracting HPV in 2001.
Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed a civil sexual harassment lawsuit against Carter in December. In a countersuit filed in Clark County District Court in Nevada on Thursday, the musician – whose real name is Nickolas Carter – accused the woman of being an “opportunist” who took advantage of the #MeToo movement and affiliated with a previous accuser and conspired to slander her father and blackmail him.
In 2017, singer Melissa Schuman of girl group Dream Carter accused her of raping her in the early 2000s, but prosecutors declined to press charges because the statute of limitations had expired. Carter denied raping Schuman.
“Carter will not be slandered like that. Protecting your reputation and name by calling a liar a liar is not victim blaming or bullying. It’s just telling the truth,” the singer’s lawyers wrote in the filing obtained by The Times on Thursday.
As Ruth filed her lawsuit, she and her legal team held a press conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and accused the Backstreet Boy of assaulting and infecting her with the human papilloma virus when she was 17 and he was 21. The alleged attack, she said during the press conference, took place in 2001 after a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington.
Carter and his attorneys allege in the new countersuit that Ruth’s lawsuit was “the culmination of approximately five years of conspiracy orchestrated by [Ruth, Schuman and her father, Jerome Schuman] to harass, defame and blackmail Carter.” They said their lawsuit was also “initiated and supported by the #MeToo movement.”
The aim of the alleged conspiracy was to “interfere with Carter’s business opportunities and businesses in order to extort money from Carter, gain attention and fame, and/or keep her name in the limelight,” according to the countersuit.
Carter’s file included a list of social media posts, including tweets linked to the trio that called Carter a serial rapist and predator and circulated the hashtag #BSBCoverUp.
Since Ruth filed her lawsuit, Carter and the Backstreet Boys have lost more than $2 million due to show cancellations and lost endorsement deals from companies including ABC, Good Morning America, VRBO and Roblox, the countersuit states.
Carter also accused the Schumans of grooming and coaching Ruth “to persuade her to inflate her initial allegations of third-party abuse to physical abuse at the specific hands of Carter and eventually sexual assault by Carter.”
The counterclaim focuses on five separate phone reports Ruth made to the Tacoma Police Department over a period of almost a year in 2019 and 2020. The reports were riddled with “numerous discrepancies and inconsistencies” that led Tacoma authorities not to press charges against Carter. court documents said.
Carter and his lawyers say the changing story is evidence that Ruth was cared for and told what to say by the Schumans.
The countersuit also alleges that the Schumans “exploited” Nick Carter’s younger brother, Aaron Carter, who was struggling with addiction and drug use. Aaron Carter was used to “legitimize their frivolous stories” but eventually recanted his involvement, the document said.
Nick Carter said in the document that prior to his brother’s death last November, Aaron Carter apologized to him for his involvement with Ruth and the Schumans, calling them “liars”.
“Why should Nick Carter be believed with his long history of abusing women? A jury will consider the evidence and decide,” Ruth’s attorney, Mark Boskovich, told the Times in an email on Thursday.
Ruth said when she filed the lawsuit that after the alleged attack, Carter told her no one would believe her story. She said she started cutting herself.
“I felt like I had nowhere to turn, no way to express my feelings, pain and confusion other than by hurting myself,” she said in December. “And I really believed that if I told anyone, I would go to jail.”
“Even though I’m autistic and living with cerebral palsy, I don’t think anything has affected me more or had a bigger impact on my life,” she added.