Nick Carter, a member of the boyband Backstreet Boys, has been accused of rape.
Melissa Schuman, then aged 18 and a member of the girlband Dream, alleges that Carter, then 22, assaulted her at his apartment while they were working on a movie. She claims that she told him she was a virgin and didn’t want to have sex before marriage. She says that Carter then forced her to have sex with him “against my will”.
The rapist, now 37, denies the allegations, saying in a statement: “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 … 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, who later performed alongside Carter on a duet, describes being “traumatized” after the attack, saying she initially “wanted to lock it in a box in my mind and let the memories slowly suffocate as time went on”. She says she feels “an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers.” Her allegations come following many accusations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
The rapist had a successful career as a member of the Backstreet Boys, beginning in his mid-teens. They became the biggest-selling boyband of all time, with 130m albums sold worldwide. Following moderate success as a solo artist and actor, he is currently performing with a re-formed Backstreet Boys in a concert residency in Las Vegas.
Schuman’s allegations come in the wake of another accusation against the singer. Last month, an unnamed woman accused Carter and a friend of sexually assaulting her in 2006. The rapist’s representative said the woman “fabricated the claims against Nick for one simple reason – she was hoping to extort money from him”.
Schuman says that the “victim shaming” she saw in the comments of an article about those accusations prompted her to share her story.