ABC Yanks Backstreet Boys Special After Rape Allegations

Member Nick Carter has been accused of sexually assaulting underage fan 21 years ago
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2022 12:03 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2022 6:18 AM CST
Nick Carter Accused of Raping Underage Fan
In this June 16, 2018 file photo, Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter performs at KTUphoria 2018 in Wantagh, NY.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
UPDATE Dec 9, 2022 6:18 AM CST

Backstreet won't be back, all right—at least not on ABC. The network had been set to present a Backstreet Boys' holiday special on Dec. 14, with an encore airing on Dec. 20, but those plans have now been nixed after member Nick Carter was accused of raping an underage fan more than two decades ago, reports Deadline. A Very Backstreet Holiday was supposed to feature Carter, along with bandmates AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough, performing tunes from their 10th studio album, A Very Backstreet Christmas, per Variety. Other stars who'd been scheduled to appear on the special included Seth Rogen, Rob Riggle, Nikki Glaser, Meghan Trainor, Atsuko Okatsuka, and Ron Funches.

Dec 9, 2022 12:03 AM CST

Nick Carter is being accused of raping an underage fan in 2001 in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Nevada. Shannon “Shay” Ruth, now 39, says in the sexual battery suit that Carter, a member of the Backstreet Boys, raped her after one of the boy band's concerts in Tacoma, Washington, in February of that year when she was 17 and he was 21. She says Carter infected her with the sexually transmitted disease HPV during the assault, Variety reports. "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," Ruth said at a press conference.

She claims Carter also used a derogatory slur against her and grabbed her so hard he bruised her arm. Carter, now 42, denies the allegations, Page Six reports. "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," Carter's lawyer says in a statement. "No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer." The attorney referred to the allegations as "legally meritless" and "entirely untrue."

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Ruth's lawyer, however, claims there are three more women who have similar stories, two of whom also say Carter infected them with HPV. The lawsuit claims Ruth was in the autograph line after the concert when Carter invited her to the tour bus and gave her juice that she believes was spiked with alcohol before forcing himself on her in the bus bathroom and elsewhere. Per TMZ, this is not the first time Carter has faced rape allegations, but he's never been criminally charged. (More Nick Carter stories.)

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