Nick Carter Sued for Alleged Rape of Minor

Nick Carter has been accused of the rape of a minor. A sexual battery lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, has been filed against the Backstreet Boys member by Shannon “Shay” Ruth, who claims the singer raped her on a bus during the group’s Black & Blue Tour in 2001.

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During a press conference streamed live on Facebook, Ruth claimed Carter, who would have been 21 at the time, picked her out of a line for autographs, when she was 17, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. He allegedly invited her to join him on the tour bus.

Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, claims Carter gave her a drink dubbed “VIP juice” that tasted alcoholic. He then allegedly took her to the bus’s bathroom, ordered her to get on her knees, and then insisted she perform oral sex on him. Ruth claims she was crying, but alleges he kept instructing her to proceed.

He then allegedly took her to a bed at the back of the bus where he raped her despite her pleas. After the incident, she allegedly said she’d tell people about what he did, but he told her no one would believe her.

Ruth, now 39, claims she was a virgin before the alleged assault and had contracted HPV afterward.

“In the last 21 years I have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame, and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” Ruth said at a press conference. In tears throughout the conference, she continued, “Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life than what Nick Carter did to me.

“After he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘retarded bitch’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm,” she said. “Carter tried to scare me into silence by saying no one would believe me if I told what happened. He was nasty and threatening, saying I would go to jail if I told.” She claimed he told her “he’d turn people against me because he was Nick Carter and had the power to wreck my life.”

“I felt like I had nowhere to turn,” she said. “My motivation for coming forward today and filing this lawsuit is to stop Nick Carter from assaulting more teens and women. I know now that I wasn’t the only woman that Nick Carter did this to. I hope that by coming forward today many other women will find the courage to also come forward and hold Nick Carter accountable.”

Carter’s attorney, Michael Holtz, shared a statement with TMZ, saying, “This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue.

“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. 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.”

This is not the first sexual assault claim Carter has faced. In 2017, a former member of the teen-pop group Dream, Melissa Schuman, accused Carter of sexually assaulting her in 2003 when she was 18 years old. However, Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file a case, saying Schuman’s claim was outside the 10-year statute of limitations.

Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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