After she first alleged the assault in a 2017 blog post, Melissa Schuman of the ’00s pop band Dream has filed a formal lawsuit claiming Nick Carter drugged and raped her at a party in 2003 when she was 18. It marks the second sexual assault lawsuit filed against the Backstreet Boys member in just under six months.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Tuesday, said the incident occurred while Schuman and Carter were starring together in the teen horror movie The Hollow. Schuman alleges that Carter gave her alcohol laced with a drug like flunitrazepam — notorious for its use as a “date rape” drug — before leading her away from the group and forcibly performing oral sex on her (via Billboard). “Defendant Carter exerted his control over plaintiff, despite knowing she did not consent, for his own sexual gratification,” the suit reads.
Schuman claims that Carter then demanded she perform oral sex on him before he took her to a bedroom and “climbed on top of her.” “Again and again, plaintiff said NO!” her lawyers wrote. “She told him over and over that she was a virgin, that she was saving herself for her future husband, and that she did not want to have sex. Defendant Carter continued to force himself on her, whispering in her ear that he could be her husband. Plaintiff could not get away from him, he was too heavy.”
Schuman said that shortly after the alleged incident, she told her parents, therapist, and manager, but her manager discouraged her from making a formal complaint out of concern that it would “ruin her career.” As she detailed in her 2017 blog post: “I didn’t have the money, the clout or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against my abuser’s legal counsel. I was told I would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.”
In December 2022, a woman named Shannon Ruth filed a sexual battery lawsuit against Carter claiming the singer raped her on the Backstreet Boys’ tour bus after a 2001 concert when she was 17. Carter’s attorney Liane K. Wakayama told Billboard that the singer still plans to countersue both Ruth and Schuman for defamation, calling their allegations a malicious “conspiracy” against him.
In January, Carter shared the single “Hurts to Love You” in tribute to his late brother Aaron Carter, who died suddenly last November.
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