Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean says the band ‘fully support’ Nick Carter after he was accused of sexually assaulting a disabled woman in 2001.
Shannon ‘Shay’ Ruth, 39, who has autism and cerebral palsy, claims the singer, 42, invited her on to his tour bus when she was 17 following a band concert in Tacoma, Washington in February 2001, before raping her. Carter denies the allegations.
McLean, 44, who recently performed with the band at the Z100 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in New York City told TMZ, the band ‘couldn’t be more solid’ in the wake of the lawsuit.
There for him: Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean says the band ‘fully support’ Nick Carter after he was accused of sexually assaulting a disabled woman in 2001 (pictured together 2005)
He said: ‘We all stand behind Nick and we all fully support him. He’s doing as great as he can
‘[The band] couldn’t be more solid.
The interview comes days after Ruth announced her lawsuit against Carter on December 8.
Ruth claims the star pulled down his trousers and exposed himself to her in a bathroom after a concert – before allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex on him and then raping her.
Support: McLean, 44, who recently performed with the band at the Z100 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball told TMZ, the band ‘couldn’t be more solid’ in the wake of the lawsuit (Carter and McLean pictured with Kevin Richardson,Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough last week)
She detailed the ‘pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm’ brought on by the alleged incident and claimed Carter ‘threatened and tried to silence her’ in the immediate aftermath.
Ruth’s attorney Mark J. Boskovich said three other women – named only as Jane Doe – are named in a joint lawsuit alongside her.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Ruth alleges she was invited on to the bus and Carter asked if she wanted a drink – after requesting apple juice, she claims he offered her cranberry and gave her a ‘red coloured’ drink he called ‘VIP juice’.
Ruth claims the drink tasted ‘off’ as she drank it and says she believes it was a mix of cranberry juice and alcohol.
It was claimed by Ruth that Carter took her to the bus bathroom and ordered her to perform oral sex on him. She alleges she was crying throughout but Carter ‘kept instructing her’.
Lawsuit: Shannon Ruth (pictured centre)- alleges Carter raped her on a tour bus in 2001 when she was a minor aged 17 – she is seen during a press conference on Thursday announcing her lawsuit against the star – Carter denies all allegations
And she further claims Carter then took her to a bed on the bus and continued his alleged sexual assault.
She claims afterwards that she told Carter she would tell people about the alleged assault – but that he reportedly threatened to turn people against her, allegedly calling her a ‘r******* little b**** that no one would believe’.
She said: ‘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.
‘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.
She alleged: ‘After he raped me, I remember him calling me a r******* little b**** and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.
She added: ‘Carter tried to scare me into silence … he was nasty and threatening.’
‘He told people he would turn people against me and because he was Nick Carter, he had the power to wreck my life.’
She said she was motivated to speak out to ‘stop’ Carter from ‘assaulting more teens and women.’
Carter is pictured in September 2001 – seven months after the alleged rape
Ruth claims she contracted sexual transmitted infection, Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) from the alleged assault, having been a virgin beforehand.
She is now seeking damages.
She said: ‘Just because Nick Carter is a celebrity does not mean that he is excused from his crimes. I am a survivor and always will be.’
Mr Boskovich claimed ‘Nick Carter has a long history of abusing women’ and added that the music industry has allegedly ‘looked away’ in the past
He added: ‘Shay is determined to bring Carter to justice. She believes it’s worth it to protect other women.’
Following the allegations, the Backstreet Boys Christmas special that was filmed this month in Los Angeles has been cancelled, according to Variety.
A source close to Carter has denied the allegations and told TMZ: ‘This accusation is categorically false, Nick is focusing on his family and mourning the death of his brother.’
Carter’s younger brother Aaron Carter was found dead aged 34 in his bathtub in Lancaster, California, on November 5.
No cause of death has been officially declared, but he was known to have struggled with mental health problems and addictions.
Carter’s attorney Michael Holtz called the allegations ‘entirely untrue’ in a statement to DailyMail.com on Thursday.
RIP: Nick’s brother Aaron Carter was found dead aged 34 in his bathtub in Lancaster, California on November 5 (pictured in his final interview)
‘This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,’ he said.
Mr Holtz said: ‘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 added: ‘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 realise.’
Carter personally has remained silent on the allegations – but shared a post promoting a charity concert for Aaron on Thursday – hours before the claims came to light.
Carter has previously faced rape allegations – which he has denied – he has never been charged with any crimes.
In 2017 singer Melissa Schuman said that the boy bander allegedly raped her in 2003.
In 2018 the LA County District Attorney’s office announced it would not press charges against Carter due to the statute of limitations, which expired in 2013.
Melissa, who is from the 90s girl group named Dream, had filed the police report in February that year.
She claimed that in 2003 Nick had pushed her in a bathroom for forced oral sex and then claimed she was raped in the bedroom.
Nick has denied allegations of rape.
Later the Backstreet Boys star said in a statement that he was ‘shocked and saddened’ about the accusations.
He said: ‘Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual.’
Nick added that he ‘was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.’
He concluded in the statement that ‘this is the first time 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.’
He continued, noting that they ‘went on to record a song and perform together.’
Melissa originally made the allegations in a November blog post.
She claimed that she was ‘forced to engage in an act against my will’ by Nick, who allegedly took her virginity when she was 18 and he was 22.
Past claim: In 2017 singer Melissa Schuman accused Nick of raping her in 2003 – he denied the claims and has never been charged with any crimes (pictured 2018)