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Image Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

(UPDATE: 12/8/22 AT 9:11 P.M. ET): Nick Carter has denied the claim that he sexually assaulted an autistic fan on his tour bus after a Backstreet Boys concert in 2001. “This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” Nick’s attorney, Michael Holtz, said in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife on Thursday, Dec. 8 — hours after Shannon “Shay” Ruth went public with her lawsuit. “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.” He concluded, “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): A woman named Shannon “Shay” Ruth claims that Nick Carter sexually assaulted her after inviting her onto the Backstreet Boys‘ tour bus in 2001, according to court documents obtained by HollywoodLife. The woman, who has cerebral palsy and autism, further alleged that Nick gave her a drink that he called “VIP juice,” which she says she believes included alcohol. Shannon alleges that Nick asked her to perform oral sex on him in the bathroom of the band’s tour bus, and she claims that the alleged sexual assault then continued on a bed.

Shannon says she was a virgin at the time of the alleged incident and claims that she contracted HPV afterward, so she’s seeking damages. She also claims that she warned Nick that she’d tell someone about what allegedly happened on the bus, but he allegedly threatened her and insisted that nobody would believe her. Shannon detailed the alleged encounter in her filing and said that she was crying throughout the entire alleged incident.

“The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” the now 39-year-old said during the press conference on Dec. 8, which you can view above. “Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe that nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life than what Nick Carter did and said to me. After he raped me, I remember him calling me a ‘re—-ed bitch’ and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.”

nick carter
Nick Carter performing. (Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock)

During the press conference, she added, “Carter tried to scare me into silence … he was nasty and threatening.” Shannon said she was initially hesitant to come forward because she thought she’d “go to jail”, but now she wants to “stop” Nick from “assaulting more teens and women” and have him be held “accountable.” HollywoodLife reached out to Nick’s rep for comment, but we have not yet received a response.

Nick has not publicly commented on these claims, but a source close to him told TMZ that the accusations are “categorically false.” In 2017, singer Melissa Schuman accused Nick of raping her more 15 years prior. Nick denied those accusations on the record and he was never charged with any crime. And as Schuman at the time acknowledged, the statute of limitations had expired. The statute of limitations for the 2001 conduct alleged by Shannon has also expired.

Nick is currently in the midst of a tour with the Backstreet Boys, which will break for the holidays and then pick up again in 2023. He is also grieving the death of his brother, Aaron Carter, who passed away at home on Nov. 5. Although Aaron and Nick had a tumultuous relationship, which was filled with ups and downs, Nick has been devastated over the loss of his younger sibling. “My heart is broken,” he wrote on Instagram after Aaron’s death. “Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never faded.” He also added, “I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you Chizz. Now you can finally have the peace you could never find here on Earth.”

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