Melissa Schuman says she forgives Nick Carter, who she has accused of rape.
The 33-year-old woman had said in a blog post last month that the Backstreet Boys singer raped her at his Los Angeles apartment when she was 18 and a member of the girl group Dream. Carter, who is 37 and was 22 at the time of the alleged incident, denied the allegations, saying, "Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual."
On an episode of The Dr. Oz show airing Friday, Schuman tearfully recalled the alleged incident and its effect on her. Dr. Mehmet Oz asked her what she would like to say to Carter.
"That I forgive you," she said. "That I don't want anything from you. I wish you only the best. I don't want your money. I didn't do this to hurt you or your family. I did this for me, because I needed this healing."
"And I also came forward because I want to inspire other victims, other people who have been assaulted, to come forward and know that they have a voice."
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Schuman recalled how she was dissuaded from going to the police about her alleged rape.
"I'd actually confided in my manager at that time about pressing charges and I was told that he had the most powerful litigator in the country and that I didn't have the money to pay for an attorney to essentially defend me, if he were to come after me," she told Oz. "And then he was also just like, you know, 'You're trying to build a name for yourself right now, everyone's gonna call you 'fame-hungry,' that you're trying to use this to better yourself or get your name out there and at this point, there's nothing we can do.' And I remember telling him, 'Oh, so that's it? Like, he just gets away with it?'"
Carter has not responded to Schuman's recent remarks.
Schuman's allegations come amid increased accusations of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood power players such as producer Harvey Weinstein, as well as politicians and newsmen, most recently Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC News this week for "inappropriate sexual behavior."
Like many accusers, Schuman was asked why she chose to go public with her allegations just recently.
"Why now?" she told Oz. "Since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came out, I've, it was a big trigger for me. I started to notice that whereas I had kind of suppressed a lot of the memories for years, with all these other brave women coming forward, it just, I started to notice that like, I had a lot of anxiety manifesting in my body, so that was really making it hard for me to just carry on, like every single day. It was really impacting me mentally and emotionally and spiritually."
"My friend of mine was like, 'Melissa, you should think about coming forward,' and I told her I didn't want to. I was actually waiting for somebody else, if there was anybody else, to come forward before me 'cause I didn't want to be the whistle-blower," Schuman said. "And she was just like, 'Melissa, now is the time. There's been no other time in history that women have been able to stand up and speak out and be able to be supported.'"