Nick Carter Denies Sexual Battery Allegation About 2001 Fan Incident on Tour Bus

In court documents obtained by E! News, a woman named Shannon Ruth alleged that she was 17 years old when Nick Carter sexually assaulted her on his tour bus nearly 20 years ago. His lawyer denied it.

By Mike Vulpo Dec 09, 2022 2:51 AMTags
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Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault.

Nick Carter is facing a lawsuit from a woman who claims she was assaulted by the singer more than 20 years ago. His lawyer called the allegation "entirely untrue."

In court documents filed Dec. 8 and obtained by E! News, plaintiff Shannon "Shay" Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, said that she attended a Backstreet Boys concert in February 2001 when she was 17 years old. After waiting in the autograph line, Ruth alleged that Carter invited her to join him on his tour bus.

The documents claim that Carter brought Ruth to the bathroom, then demanded she performed oral sex on him. Afterward, the singer allegedly continued to sexually assault her on a bed.

When the plaintiff tried to leave the tour bus, Carter allegedly stopped her. Ruth said he proceeded to grab her arm, leaving a bruise, and screamed at her.

In court documents, Ruth said that she was a virgin before the encounter, and that she contracted HPV after the experience.

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Carter's attorney, Michael Holtz, denied the allegation in a statement to E! News.

"This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue," 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."

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Carter's attorney 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."

Ruth's attorneys wrote in the lawsuit that their client did not report Carter's alleged crimes for many years due to his "various threats."

"Carter threatened to turn people against her and deny his knowledge of her," the court documents state. "He told plaintiff she would go to jail if she told anyone what happened between them. He said that he was Nick Carter, and that he had the power to do that."

She is suing for sexual battery and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit comes just one day before Nick and the Backstreet Boys are set to perform at Z100's Jingle Ball in New York City.

The group will also participate in a A Very Backstreet Holiday special airing Dec. 14.

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit