Nick Carter, singer with pop group Backstreet Boys, has been sued by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her, in the third such lawsuit he is currently facing.
The woman, identified as “AR”, alleges that Carter assaulted her across three separate incidents in 2003 when she was 15 and he was 23, and that Carter gave her the sexually transmitted infection HPV. She is seeking $15,000 in damages.
Her lawyer Margaret Mabie said: “We hope that AR receives some measure of justice and that this lawsuit will pave the way for other survivors to hold their abusers to account.”
Carter is alleged to have known AR as a family friend, first assaulting her on his family’s yacht, then a bus on his family’s property, then in a later incident on the yacht which he allegedly invited three other men to watch.
Carter denies the allegations, with his lawyer Dale A Hayes Jr describing them as “ridiculous” and “malicious” in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
Prior to this civil suit, AR had filed criminal complaints against Carter in two US states shortly after the alleged assaults, but authorities did not press charges. “Repeating the same false allegations in a new legal complaint doesn’t make them any more true,” Hayes said. Another of AR’s lawyers, John Kawai, said: “Abusers can take notice that just because they avoided prison doesn’t mean they don’t have to answer to a jury for their actions.”
Carter also currently faces a lawsuit from Melissa Schuman, once a singer with girl group Dream who first accused him of sexual assault in 2017, with the alleged incident dating back to 2002 when she was 18 and they were working on a movie together. Carter is accused of drugging and raping her in a “relentless” assault, which he denies. She reported the incident to police but charges could not be made because of the incident passing the statute of limitations in 2013.
In April, she filed a lawsuit against Carter, saying: “I’m fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform.” Carter’s lawyer Liane K Wakayama said Schuman was “plotting to damage, defame and extort” her client.
On Wednesday in a Las Vegas court, Carter was granted the right to countersue Schuman for defamation. After the ruling, Wakayama framed Schuman’s allegations as “a brazen attempt to get rich off of him. Today’s ruling confirms that Nick will be able to pursue that truth to its inevitable conclusion”.
Carter is also countersuing a third woman who has sued him for alleged sexual assault. Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed her suit in December, alleging that Carter had raped her on a tour bus after a Backstreet Boys concert in 2001, when she was 17 and he was 21. Like Schuman, she alleges he infected her with HPV.
Carter’s lawyers called the claims “entirely untrue”, then later, when countersuing, claimed that Ruth and Schuman were in a joint conspiracy to “harass, defame and extort” Carter and that Ruth’s lawsuit was “launched and bolstered by the #MeToo movement”. They claimed Carter and Backstreet Boys had lost over $2m in revenue due to brand partners and concert promoters cutting ties with the group after the allegations.
Carter’s career with Backstreet Boys has been hugely successful since the group formed in 1993 and became a defining boyband of the decade, gaining global hits with songs such as I Want It That Way and Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).
Their success continued despite Schulman’s 2017 allegation, with the 2019 album DNA topping the US Billboard chart. Their most recent album is 2022’s A Very Backstreet Christmas which reached the US Top 20, though an accompanying TV special was cancelled following Ruth’s allegations.