Shocking news out of the music world today, as Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter has been accused of raping an underage fan in 2001.
In a newly-filed lawsuit and a press conference that was livestreamed on Facebook, Shannon “Shay” Ruth alleged that Carter sexually assaulted her when they met backstage at a concert when she was just 17 years old.
Ruth, who is now 39, lives with autism and cerebral palsy.
She says that Carter took advantage of her vulnerable state and mocked her condition after he assaulted her.
“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,” Ruth said during today’s press conference.
“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,” she continued.
“After he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘re—-ed bitch’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.”
Addressing the question of why she waited more than 20 years to speak out, Ruth explained that she was terrified of going public.
“Carter tried to scare me into silence … he was nasty and threatening,” she said.
Ruth added that was hesitant to speak out because she believed that she could “go to jail” if she told her story.
She eventually came forward, she said, in the hope that she might be able to “stop” Carter from “assaulting more teens and women” and “hold Nick Carter accountable.”
“Just because Nick Carter is a celebrity does not mean that he is excused from his crimes,” the victim concluded.
“I am a survivor and always will be.”
“Nick Carter has a long history of abusing women,” said Ruth’s attorney Mark J. Boskovich, adding that the music industry allegedly has a history of “looking away.”
The lawsuit also mentions three other accusers who are identified only as Jane Doe.
“Shay is determined to bring Carter to justice,” Boskovich said.
“She believes it’s worth it to protect other women.”
Carter and his family have been in the news recently due to the death of Nick’s brother Aaron.
Aaron, who was also a well-known pop star in his youth, was found dead in the bathroom of his Lancaster, California home in November.
The singer was just 34 years old.
Nick Carter has not yet spoken publicly about the allegations against him.
Carter was previously accused of sexual assault in 2017 by singer Melissa Schuman.
We will have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.