Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter accused of sexual assault in lawsuit from former pop singer Melissa Schuman

 April 13, 2023

Singer Nick Carter, 43, of Backstreet Boys fame, has been hit with a lawsuit alleging sexual assault and battery by former pop singer Melissa Schuman, 38, Fox News reported.

Schuman first went public with her accusations against Carter in 2017 about the alleged 2003 incident that Carter himself has fervently denied.

Earlier this year, Carter filed a defamation lawsuit of his own against Schuman and another accuser, Shannon Ruth, 39, who alleged in December that Carter had sexually assaulted her in 2001.

"Not the first," but intend to be "the last"

"I've faced extraordinary backlash for standing up for myself; I am not the first, however, my intention is that I am the last," Schuman said in a statement Tuesday after her lawsuit was filed, according to Fox News.

"It's time that powerful figures in the music industry get the message that they can no longer afford to enable and protect sexual predators. I'm fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform," she added.

Schuman and Carter reportedly first met while filming a TV movie together in the early 2000s, with the alleged incident occurring in 2003 at Carter's Los Angeles, California apartment when she was 18 and he was 23.

Carter attorney dismissed claim as "PR stunt"

People magazine reported that Schuman's lawsuit alleges that Carter utilized "his role, status, and power as a well-known singer to gain access to, groom, manipulate, exploit, and sexually assault" her, and that she has since then "suffered severe emotional, physical, and psychological stress."

"Melissa Schuman has been peddling this tale for many years, but her allegation was false when she first made it back in 2017 -- and it still is," Liane Wakayama, Carter's attorney, said in a statement. "A judge in Nevada recently ruled, after reviewing the extensive evidence we laid out, that there are strong grounds for Nick Carter to proceed with his lawsuit against Ms. Schuman for plotting to damage, defame and extort Nick, his associates, his friends and his family."

"In light of our progress in Nevada, this kind of response is at once both predictable and pathetic," the attorney added. "But this PR stunt won't shake Nick from his determination to hold Ms. Schuman and her co-conspirators to account for the immeasurable pain and suffering their extortionate conduct has caused."

The outlet noted that Carter denied the allegations when Schuman first raised them in 2017, and further noted that Schuman attempted to file a police report in 2018 about the alleged 2003 incident but was rejected due to the 10-year statute of limitations for sexual assault, which expired in 2013.

Carter's countersuit

The New York Post's Page Six reported in February that Carter was moving forward with a defamation lawsuit against Schuman and a separate accuser, Shannon Ruth, who came forward in a December 2022 press conference to allege that Carter had sexually assaulted her on a tour bus in 2001 when she was 17.

Carter's suit alleges that Ruth and Schuman, in coordination with Schuman's father Jerome, had latched onto the #MeToo trend and engaged in a "five-year conspiracy" to "harass, defame, and extort" him for money with "salacious" claims of sexual misconduct. The suit further accused the Schumans of taking advantage of the "vulnerable and highly impressionable" woman, who is autistic and suffers from cerebral palsy, to be "groomed and coached" into making her allegations against him.

"As our Counterclaim sets out in detail, Nick has been the target of a malicious and long-running conspiracy," Carter attorney Michael Holtz told the Post. "He has never done the outrageous things of which he has been accused; in fact, he is the victim of a calculated and concerted disinformation campaign designed to destroy his reputation."

"He looks forward to setting out the truth, vindicating himself in court, and putting an end to the smears and attempted shakedowns for good," the attorney added.

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