Deadline has confirmed that ABC will no longer air A Very Backstreet Holiday after a woman who claims Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter raped her when she was a teenager after one of the group’s concerts announced in she is filing of a lawsuit. The music special will be replaced by comedy repeats in the 8 PM hour on Dec. 14.
Shannon “Shay” Ruth, now 39, contends she was just 17 when Carter took her into his tour bus following a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington in 2001. She claims the singer gave her what he called “VIP juice” and then sexually assaulted her.
“Carter tried to scare me into silence by saying no one would believe me if I told what happened,” Ruth said during a Beverly Hills news conference announcing the lawsuit, which was filed in Nevada.
“He was nasty and threatening, saying I was going to jail if I told. He also said he’d turn people against me because he was Nick Carter and he had the power to wreck my life.
“Carter took away my childhood and my innocence, but he cannot and will not take away my strength or my truth. I am a survivor and always will be.”
Michael Holtz, an attorney for Carter, released a statement called the allegation “not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue.
“Unfortunately, for several years now, Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations against Nick, and those allegations have changed repeatedly and materially over time,” he said. “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.”
Ruth said she decided to come forward now to “stop Nick Carter from doing this to somebody else.”
Her attorney, Mark Boskovich, said the investigation into Ruth’s allegations led to other alleged victims who claim they were sexually assaulted by the singer, and like Ruth, “they were all infected with HPV.
“I’m hoping other women will come forward and stand with Shay,” he said.
Boskovich noted that Ruth is on the autism spectrum and has a mild case of cerebral palsy.
The ABC special was to feature The Backstreet Boys singing songs from their new holiday album along with classic hits and celebrating the season. It had been set to air December 14 and repeat on December 20.
City News Service contributed to this report.