Nick Carter beamed as he stepped out on the day he was accused of raping a disabled woman on a tour bus in 2001.
The singer, 42, has denied the claims and was joined by his band Backstreet Boys as they chatted with fans outside the Empire State Building in New York City on Thursday.
Despite news that the band’s holiday special has been axed in the wake of the new lawsuit, the group seemed in high spirits.
Carter, casually clad in jeans and trainers, waved at onlookers before posing for photographs with bandmates Aj Mclean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson.
All-smiles: Nick Carter beamed as he stepped out on the day he was accused of raping a disabled woman on a tour bus in 2001
The outing came after their Christmas special, which was set to air on ABC on December 14, has been abandoned.
The holiday-themed special was going to see the band members performing hits from their 10th album, A Very Backstreet Christmas.
Celebrities set to appear on the special were Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Nikki Glaser, Rob Riggle, Ron Funches and Atsuko Okatsuka.
The news came after Carter was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on a tour bus during the band’s 2001 tour.
The disabled woman who alleges Carter raped her, sobbed during a press conference on Thursday, announcing her lawsuit against the star, who has since denied the allegations.
Group: Nick was seen posing for snaps alongside bandmates Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, Aj Mclean and Brian Littrell
In her lawsuit, Shannon ‘Shay’ Ruth, now 39, who has autism and cerebral palsy, claims the Backstreet Boys singer invited her onto his tour bus when she was 17 following the band’s concert in Tacoma, Washington in February 2001 after spotting her waiting in the autograph line.
Ruth claims the star pulled down his trousers and exposed himself to her in a bathroom – before allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex on him and then raping her.
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 Ruth.
Lawsuit: Shannon Ruth (centre) – who alleges Carter raped her on a tour bus in 2001 when she was a minor aged 17 – sobbed during a press conference on Thursday announcing her lawsuit
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Ruth alleges she was invited onto the tour bus, Carter asked if she wanted a drink – after requesting apple juice, she claims Carter offered her cranberry and gave her a ‘red colored’ drunk which 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. Ruth alleges that she was crying throughout but Carter ‘kept instructing her.’
Ruth further claims Carter then took her to a bed on the bus and and continued his alleged sexual assault.
Stepping out: The singer, 42, has denied the claims and was joined by his band Backstreet Boys as they chatted with fans outside the Empire State Building in New York City on Thursday
Chirpy: Carter, casually clad in jeans and trainers, waved at onlookers before posing for photographs with bandmates Aj Mclean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson
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***h 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***h and grabbing me and leaving bruises on my arm.
Posing: Despite news that the band’s holiday special has been axed in the wake of the new lawsuit, the group seemed in high spirits
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.’
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.
Axed: The holiday-themed special was going to see the band members performing hits from their 10th album, A Very Backstreet Christmas
Smiling: AJ and Howie still seemed in good spirits as they chatted with fans despite their special Christmas special being scrapped
Scrapped: The holiday-themed special was going to see the band members performing hits from their 10th album, A Very Backstreet Christmas (Brian pictured)
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.
He said: ‘Nick Carter has a long history of abusing women’ and added adding that the music industry has allegedly ‘looked away’ in the past
He said: ‘Shay is determined to bring Carter to justice. She believes it’s worth it to protect other women.’
A source close to Nick 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 Thursday.
‘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.
Holtz said that ‘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 realize.’
Throwback: The group are pictured in 2001
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.
Carter is pictured in September 2001 – seven months after the alleged rape
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.’
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)
Post: Nick Carter has thus far remained silent on the allegations – but shared a post promoting a charity concert for Aaron on Thursday – hours before the claims came to light
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)