Singer Melissa Schuman, who for years has alleged the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter raped her in 2003, has filed a lawsuit reviving the claim that Carter attacked her when she was 18.
Schuman, a former member of the 2000s girl group Dream, accused Carter of forcing her into oral sex, and of using “his role, status, and power as a well-known singer to gain access to, groom, manipulate, exploit” and rape her, according to the suit, obtained by multiple outlets.
Schuman, now 38, first accused Carter in late 2017. She said the assault occurred at Carter’s apartment in Santa Monica, California, where he refused “to take my no’s for an answer.”
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office years ago declined to prosecute Carter, citing the 2013 statute of limitations expiration. Schuman, speaking to the New York Post, cited a new California law temporarily lifting limitations on filing civil lawsuits making sexual assault claims.
“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,” Schuman told the outlet. “I’m fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform.”
Carter has vehemently denied assaulting Schuman. His lawyer called the lawsuit “a PR stunt.”
“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 K. Wakayama, Carter’s attorney, told Rolling Stone. “This PR stunt won’t shake Nick.”
Schuman has said in the past that she and Carter were introduced by their teams, who suggested they date each other for publicity. After the assault, she said her manager urged her to stay silent and said she would be “buried in humiliation” if she didn’t.
Schuman, who then was co-starring with Carter in a movie and was signed to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ record label, wrote in her 2017 blog post that her career began to worsen, even though she didn’t speak out at the time.
The filing claimed Carter continued to “manipulate and torment” Schuman with text messages and calls, and that a “well-known and powerful manager in the music industry” got her to record a duet with Carter to create “the false impression” they were friendly.
The song, produced for a movie soundtrack, was never sold.
She filed a report with the Santa Monica Police Department in 2018.
Carter is also facing a lawsuit filed in Nevada by Shannon Ruth, who claimed he forced her into oral sex and raped her. Ruth, who was 17 at the time and says she is autistic, alleged Carter called her a “retarded bitch.”
Carter has vigorously denied the allegations.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.