ABC is pulling the plug on the upcoming Backstreet Boys Christmas special, A Very Backstreet Christmas, following rape allegations against band member Nick Carter. The special was to air on ABC on December 14th and be available to stream on Hulu the next day.
According to the allegations, an autistic woman with cerebral palsy named Shannon Ruth was seventeen when she attended a Backstreet Boys concert in February 2001. Following the Tacoma, Washington show, Ruth states that while waiting in line to get band autographs, Carter invited her inside the band’s tour bus, where he gave her “VIP Juice,” which was laced with alcohol.
From there, Carter sexually assaulted Ruth, causing an infection of HPV (human papillomavirus). Carter would come after her with reprisals if she were to come forward about what happened. To prove this, he then called her a terrible name. Feeling afraid, Ruth kept silenced for over twenty years. Now thirty-nine, she thought it was safe to address the incident finally.
However, Carter denies these claims through his attorney Michael Holtz. According to a statement obtained by Variety, the latter provided the given quote: “This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue.”
He further highlighted the case: “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.”
Meanwhile, Ruth hopes to “stop” Nick Carter from assaulting more teens and women and to hold him accountable” in her case. She said, “I am a survivor and always will be.”
This is not the first time the Backstreet Boys member has been accused of sexual battery. Three more women are alongside Ruth, sharing that they, too, have been a victim of Carter. Former Dream member Melissa Schuman reflected in 2017 that Carter sexually assaulted her in 2002 when she was eighteen. Carter has since denied the accusations.
A Very Backstreet Christmas would have included special guest stars Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches, and Atsuko Okatsuka.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse or assault, please call the national hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit Rainn.org.