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Nick Carter denies rape allegation as ABC pulls Backstreet Boys holiday special

<i>Ethan Miller/Getty Images</i><br/>Nick Carter
Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Nick Carter

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Backstreet Boys’ member Nick Carter is being sued by a 39-year-old woman with autism and cerebral palsy who says the singer raped her as a teenager on the group’s tour bus in 2001.

Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed a sexual battery lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada, on Thursday in which she claims that Carter gave her alcohol and assaulted her after a a concert in Tacoma, Washington in February 2001. She was 17 at the time of the alleged incident.

The singer denied the allegation in a statement provided to CNN from his attorney Michael Holtz.

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

Ruth alleges in her complaint that Carter picked her out of a line of autograph seekers, invited her on tour bus and gave her “VIP juice,” which she believes was a mixture of cranberry juice and alcohol.

After the alleged assault, Ruth says she contracted “the human papillomavirus (commonly known as HPV), a sexually transmitted infection known to cause health problems such as genital warts and cervical cancer,” according to the complaint.

During a press conference held in Beverly Hills, California, on Thursday, Ruth 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.”

No criminal charges have been filed with the alleged assault.

ABC will no longer broadcast the television special “A Very Backstreet Holiday,” set to air December 14, in light of the suit. Previously aired comedies will broadcast instead, CNN has learned.

Carter faced a similar allegation in 2017 after former pop singer Melissa Schuman accused him of raping her 15 years prior. Prosecutors in Los Angeles, where Schuman sought to bring charges against Carter, opted to not pursue it because the statute of limitations has expired.

Carter denied the allegations at the time in a statement provided to CNN.

“Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual,” Carter said in the statement. “We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.”

CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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