The Most-Anticipated Holiday Special Was Just Canceled After Serious Assault Allegations
Plans to broadcast the highly anticipated Backstreet Boys holiday special have been scrapped by ABC. The news comes amid allegations that singer Nick Carter sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl during the band’s 2001 tour. Filmed in Los Angeles earlier this month, A Very Backstreet Holiday will be replaced by comedy repeats in the 8 pm hour on December 14th, Deadline reports.
The Backstreet Boys holiday special was set to feature Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough as they celebrate the season. The group also planned to perform songs from their 10th album, A Very Backstreet Christmas, as well as hits from their impressive back catalog. Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches, and Atsuko Okatsuka were also scheduled to appear.
Meanwhile, Shannon Ruth, who is now 39, filed a sexual battery lawsuit against the Backstreet Boys singer. She accuses Carter of rape and infecting her with HPV after a February 2001 concert in Tacoma, Washington. “He tried to scare me into silence by saying no one would believe me if I told them what happened,” Ruth said during a news conference at Los Angeles Beverly Hilton hotel.
She added that the Backstreet Boys star was threatening and said she would go to jail if she talked about what happened. “He also said he’d turn people against me because he was Nick Carter and he had the power to wreck my life,” Ruth explained. The alleged victim said Nick Carter took away her childhood and innocence but cannot take away her truth.
Following the allegations, Michael Holtz an attorney for the Backstreet Boys singer released a statement saying the claims are “legally meritless” and “entirely untrue.” He explained, via Variety, that Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations against Nick for several years. And the nature of the allegations changed repeatedly and materially over time.
“No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer,” Holtz continued. “There is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realize.” Meanwhile, Ruth said she decided to come forward to “stop Nick Carter from doing this to somebody else.” Her attorney, Mark Boskovich, said her allegations led to other victims who said they were sexually assaulted by the singer.
This isn’t the first time Nick Carter has faced allegations of sexual assault. In 2018, Melissa Schuman, a former member of the girl band Dream, claimed she was forced to have sex with the youngest member of the Backstreet Boys against her will. She was 18 years old at the time, Newsweek reports. At the time, Carter denied the allegations and has never been charged with any criminal offense.
“Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual,” Carter said, addressing the allegations at the time via The Daily Mail. The Backstreet Boys star said he was always respectful and supportive of the Dream singer personally and professionally. “This is the first time that I am hearing about these accusations nearly two decades later,” he added.
The latest allegations by Ruth come just weeks after the death of Nick Carter’s younger brother Aaron. The troubled star was found dead in his bathtub. However, no cause of death has been officially declared. But the 34-year-old, who often appeared on stage with the Backstreet Boys when he was younger, was known to have struggled with addiction and mental health problems in the past.