Nick Carter Sued for Sexual Assault by Dream Singer Melissa Schuman
This is the second allegation against the Backstreet Boys singer.
Nick Carter has once again been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, with the latest allegations coming from former teen-pop singer Melissa Schuman, who has spoken out about the Backstreet Boy’s abuse in the past.
The former member of the girl group Dream has filed an official complaint in Los Angeles court as of Apr. 11, for what she claims were multiple instances of sexual assault, including rape, which were initiated by Carter when she was involved with him professionally.
According to Schuman, Carter began abusing her when she was 18 years old, while they were working on the 2003 film The Hollow. Allegations include how she and the boy band member engaged in nonconsensual sexual activity several times during a party, and that alcohol laced with drugs may have been involved.
While Schuman claims she informed those close to her about this and other instances, she never filed a police report because her manager said it could “ruin her career,” according to Billboard.
The music industry website reported that Schuman’s lawyers stated she was “too terrified to say anything” because “Carter exerted his control over plaintiff, despite knowing she did not consent, for his own sexual gratification.”
The former singer filed her first official report in 2018, but according to Billboard, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to proceed with the investigation “because the statute of limitations had expired.”
Thanks to a new California law that went into effect earlier this year however, Schuman, now 38-years-old, has another chance to seek justice. The law expanded its statute of limitations for sexual assault claims, which will allow survivors to file legal claims for a sexual assault, even if it happened years ago.
Details in the case reveal that the traumatic experiences left Schuman infected with the sexually transmitted infection Human Papillomavirus or HPV, and that Carter continued to “harass and manipulate” her after the fact.
She detailed much of her experience in a personal blog post from 2017, in an effort to raise awareness not just for her own situation, but to for those like her who have been manipulated and assaulted by those in the music industry.
Schuman’s formal filing comes shortly after another sexual abuse allegation came to light, also involving Cater. Shannon “Shay” Ruth, now 39, has officially sued the boy band singer for sexual battery from an account of assault when she was also a teenager.
Ruth, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, says that when she was 17, Carter raped her and also infected her with HPV when the band was on tour in 2001.
“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,” Ruth stated during a press conference which took place December of 2022.
The lawsuit also involves three other women (who have chosen to remain anonymous) who also claim Carter sexually assaulted them.
Carter has been vocal in denying Schuman’s, Ruth’s, and other assault allegations. He has taken it upon himself to attempt counter-suing some of his victims, mainly on the grounds of defamation, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal. While it doesn’t necessarily close the case Ruth has recently opened, it could cost them some serious cash if courts rule in Carter’s favor.
Liane Wakayama, who represents Carter, justified the counter-lawsuit in light of the new California law.
“That would mean a party could defame, continuously defame someone, and then claim the privilege years down the road just because they filed a lawsuit,” Wakayama said, in a court statement from Mar. 29. It was enough to have the Las Vegas judge presiding over the case to keep Carter’s legal rights open, despite Ruth’s lawsuits and attempts to shut his counter-lawsuit down.
Carter declined to comment, but Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Wakayama said she was “pleased with the result.”