Nick Carter, 42, has denied a claim that he sexually assaulted an autistic fan after inviting her onto the Backstreet Boys‘ tour bus in 2001. “This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” Nick’s attorney, Michael Holtz, said in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife on Thursday, Dec. 8. “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.”
He continued, “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 realize.” The woman, whose full name is Shannon “Shay” Ruth and who has cerebral palsy and autism, revealed her sexual assault lawsuit against Nick in a Dec. 8 press conference. The now 39-year-old alleged that Nick gave her what she believes was an alcoholic drink that he called “VIP juice” when she was 17 years old and then asked her for oral sex. She claimed that the original incident occurred in the bathroom of the tour bus and then they moved to the bed.
“The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame, and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” she said with tears in her eyes, as seen in the clip below. “Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe that nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life than what Nick Carter did and said to me. After he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘re—ed bitch’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.”
Later on during her emotional speech, Shay claimed she remained silent for so long because Nick allegedly used scare tactics to silence her and she thought she might be sent to prison for speaking out. “Carter tried to scare me into silence … he was nasty and threatening,” she stated. She said her reason for coming forward is to “stop” Nick from “assaulting more teens and women”, and so he can be held “accountable.”
Shay also claimed that she contracted HPV, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), after the alleged rape and is seeking monetary damages. According to Shay’s attorney, three other women filed a lawsuit alongside Shay, but did not reveal their identities.
The lawsuit against the “I Want It That Way” hitmaker comes just a month after his younger brother, Aaron Carter, suddenly died at the age of 34. Nick spoke out for the first time about his heartache and taking the stage with his bandmates one day after Aaron’s death in an interview released on Dec. 2. “It was very emotional for me, having my guys with me. That night, it was tough to get up on stage,” he recalled to Extra!.
“There’s the old saying, ‘The show must go on.’ That’s been with us for years, but that night, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what was going to come from it, getting on that stage,” he continued. “Getting the reaction from the fans, it was definitely comforting, and it meant a lot to me.”
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