“I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual,” the Backstreet Boys member, 32, tells Us Weekly in a statement on Wednesday, November 22. “We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.”
Schuman, 33, who was a member of the 2000s girl group Dream, claimed on her blog, Melissa Explains It All, on Saturday, November 18, that she was assaulted by Carter when she was 18 and he was 22. The “He Loves U Not” singer alleged that she and a friend went to Carter’s apartment after he invited them during a day off from filming the 2004 TV movie The Hollow. Schuman claimed that the “Shape of My Heart” crooner brought her into a bathroom and they kissed.
She then alleged that Carter removed her pants, ignoring her pleas for him to stop and claimed that he performed oral sex on her before demanding she do the same for him. Schuman, who said she was a virgin at the time, then alleged that the “As Long As You Love Me” singer took her into a bedroom and assaulted her.
“My thought was the only way to get out was to get him to finish what he had started,” the “This Is Me” singer wrote. “That’s where I saw myself, my reflection, watching myself do something that I was sickened by. Watching myself be assaulted, forced to engage in an act against my will.” Shuman shared that she considered pressing charges against Carter, but was told she “would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.”
The singer has also expressed her gratitude for the support she’s received since opening up about the alleged incident. “I just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support,” she tweeted on Monday, November 20. “Thank you for bearing witness to my story. Thank you for providing me a safe place to be open and vulnerable. I love you all. Thank you for aiding me in the healing that I so desperately needed. I am free now.”