Update: 12/8/22, 9 p.m. ET
A rep for Carter denied Ruth’s allegations in a statement to Us Weekly.
“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” the rep’s statement read on Thursday. “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. No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer – there is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realize.”
Original story continues below:
Shannon Ruth, now 39, alleged in her Thursday, December 8, court filing that the Backstreet Boys singer, now 42, forcibly raped her after she attended a February 2001 concert in Tacoma, Washington, per documents obtained by Us. She was 17 at the time.
Ruth — who is on the autism spectrum and has cerebral palsy — claimed that Carter invited her to join him on his tour bus while she was waiting in line for an autograph after the show.
The court documents alleged that the Florida native offered Ruth a red-colored drink, which she drank to “not be rude.” The alleged victim also claimed that Carter exposed himself to her and had her perform oral sex on him “under duress.” Carter has not publicly addressed the claims.
Ruth, who is also suing the musician for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, claimed in her Thursday filing that she was a virgin prior to her encounter with Carter.
The “No Place” crooner — who married Lauren Kitt in 2014, with whom he shares three children — was previously accused of sexual assault by Dream singer Melissa Schuman. The 38-year-old “He Loves You Not” songstress alleged in November 2017 that Carter assaulted her when she was 18 and he was 22 after filming scenes for their TV movie The Hollow.
“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,” Carter told Us in a statement at the time, denying the allegations. “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.”
AJ McLean also dismissed the accusations as “bogus,” noting he stood beside his bandmate. “I totally support my brother,” McLean, 44, told TMZ in December 2017. “He is a gentleman, a scholar and a father and a dear friend and I completely support him.”
Following Schuman’s allegations about their supposed 2003 encounter, the Los Angeles District Attorney opened an investigation. The DA’s office ultimately declined to press charges against Carter in September 2018, noting the statute of limitation had passed, Us confirmed.
“Nick has denied these allegations ever since he first learned of them last year, and was confident the district attorney would conclude that there was no basis to pursue charges against him,” Carter’s attorney, Michael Holtz, told the BBC in a statement at the time, noting the “Shape or Your Heart” performer was “happy to put the matter behind him.”
Paris Hilton’s friends previously accused Carter — who dated the heiress for 10 months before their 2004 split — of physical abuse after Hilton, now 41, was photographed with bruises on her arms. While the Paris In Love alum never accused Carter herself, he has denied the allegations.
“If they need the media attention, let them do their thing,” the “Call” singer said in an August 2004 statement to MTV News. “My family, friends and fans know that this is not my character and I would never hurt someone that I cared for or do anything like the malicious things they are claiming.”
Hilton, who declined to press charges relating to her injuries, told People later that month that she was “doing OK” and is “happy to be single.”
If you or someone you know have experienced sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential support.