Melissa Schuman, a former member of the girl group Dream, has filed a lawsuit against Nick Carter, a member of the Backstreet Boys, reviving her claim that he raped her in 2003. Schuman accuses Carter of using his power and status to gain access to, groom, manipulate, exploit and rape her. Schuman first accused Carter in late 2017, stating that he refused to take her no's for an answer at his Santa Monica apartment. Carter's lawyer has called the lawsuit a public relations stunt, and Carter has vehemently denied the allegations. Schuman's case was initially thrown out, but a new law has lifted the statute of limitations.
Schuman claims that after the assault, her manager urged her to stay silent, and her career began to worsen even though she did not speak out at the time. The lawsuit alleges that Carter continued to manipulate and torment Schuman with text messages and calls, and a well-known and powerful manager in the music industry got her to record a duet with Carter to create the false impression that they were friendly. The song, produced for a movie soundtrack, was never sold.
Carter is also facing another sexual assault lawsuit filed in Nevada by Shannon Ruth, who claimed he forced her into oral sex and raped her. Ruth, who was 17 at the time and says she is autistic, alleged Carter called her a "retarded bitch." Carter has vigorously denied the allegations. Carter appeared in court in Las Vegas last month in regards to Ruth's lawsuit.
Schuman has said she is fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform. Meanwhile, Carter's lawyer has called the lawsuits against him a "cash grab," and Carter has denied all allegations of sexual assault.