ABC Will No Longer Air Backstreet Boys Holiday Special After Nick Carter Sexual Assault Allegations

The Backstreet Boys' holiday special, A Very Backstreet Holiday, will no longer be airing on ABC after Nick Carter was sued for sexual battery on Dec. 8.

By Charlotte Walsh Dec 09, 2022 10:27 PMTags
Watch: ABC Pulls Backstreet Boys Special Amid Nick Carter Allegations

Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault.

The Backstreet Boys' holiday special will no longer be airing on ABC

A Very Backstreet Holiday has been pulled from ABC's schedule, E! can confirm, and instead comedy repeats will be airing in its place. The news comes one day after Nick Carter was sued for sexual battery Dec. 8, but his lawyer Michael Holtz has since denied the allegations in a statement.

The special was set to air Dec. 14, and would have featured Carter along with fellow members AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough as they performed hits from their album "A Very Backstreet Christmas." Fellow stars Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches and Atsuko Okatsuka were also scheduled to appear.

In court documents filed Dec. 8 and obtained by E! News, plaintiff Shannon "Shay" Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, sued Carter for sexual battery and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. In the lawsuit, Ruth, who was 17 at the time, alleged that Carter invited her onto his tour bus after meeting him in the autograph line at a Feb. 2001 Backstreet Boys concert.

Backstreet Boys' 2022 DNA World Tour

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, and would not let her leave the tour bus. The plaintiff also alleged that she was a virgin before the encounter, and that she contracted HPV after the experience.

Carter's attorney later denied the allegations.

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"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 in a statement to E! News. "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."

Carter's attorney added that "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."

It is not yet clear if A Very Backstreet Holiday will air on another network.

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