Nick Carter has filed a countersuit against a rape accuser who came forward this past December, claiming the Backstreet Boys singer had sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
The 43-year-old’s counter-complaint was filed against Shannon Ruth in Nevada on Thursday, according to court papers obtained by Rolling Stone. Carter is seeking at least $2.35 million in damages — the same amount he claims Ruth’s accusations have cost himself and the band in canceled appearances and various deals, according to TMZ.
Ruth, who described herself as autistic and having cerebral palsy, claimed Carter invited her onto his tour bus following a concert in Tacoma, Washington, in Feb. 2001. During a tour of the bus, Ruth claimed Carter forced her to perform oral sex on him, raped her, and infected her with a sexually transmitted infection. “After he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘retarded bitch’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm,” Ruth said during a press conference. Days after the suit was filed, ABC pulled the plug on airing a Backstreet Boys Christmas special.
In the countersuit, Carter’s legal team denied the allegations. They have previously questioned Ruth’s credibility, claiming her story has “changed repeatedly and materially over time.” Additionally, they accuse Ruth of being “manipulated into making false allegations” by Melissa Schuman and her father, Jerome. In a statement provided to TMZ, Carter’s attorney Michael Holtz claimed his client plans to put “an end to the smears and attempted shakedowns for good.”
Schuman — formerly a member of the 2000s girl band Dream — previously came forward in a blog post in Nov. 2017, claiming Carter forced himself upon her at his Los Angeles apartment and took her virginity. In a statement from the time, Carter denied the allegations, saying Schuman had “never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual … It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.”
Although Schuman filed a police report with the Santa Monica Police Department in Feb. 2018, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the matter, saying the statute of limitations had expired in 2013.