An attorney for the singer decried the accusation by Shannon “Shay” Ruth, now 39, as “legally meritless,” Page Six reported Thursday.
“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is ... entirely untrue,” Michael Holtz told the outlet in a statement. “Unfortunately, for several years now, Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations about Nick.”
At a press conference Thursday, Ruth said that the singer, now 42, raped her when he was in his early 20s, per Variety. Ruth said Carter forced himself on her and that she “begged him to stop.”
“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 the news conference. She alleged that the singer also referred to her with derogatory language and bruised her arm.
A representative for Carter did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Holtz told Page Six that Ruth’s allegations “have changed repeatedly and materially over time” and that her press conference was “orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer.” He also said “the courts will quickly realize” that “there is nothing to this claim whatsoever.”
Ruth’s allegation was accompanied by a lawsuit she filed alongside three anonymous women who similarly accused Carter of sexual assault.
According to Page Six, the complaint states that Carter had invited Ruth onto a tour bus after a concert in Tacoma, Washington, before giving her a drink that she now believes to have contained alcohol.
“The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” Ruth said Thursday, per Page Six.
“Just because Nick Carter is a celebrity does not mean that he is excused from his crimes,” she added.
Amid the allegations, ABC has reportedly decided not to air “A Very Backstreet Holiday.” The Christmas special, previously scheduled for Dec. 14, was going to feature Carter and other band members alongside guests such as Seth Rogen.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.