Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter is now countersuing the two women who have accused him of sexual assault. Shannon Ruth filed a lawsuit against the singer in December for sexual battery, and she along with singer Melissa Schuman are now being called “opportunists” by Carter and his legal team.
The suit claims the two women took advantage of the #MeToo movement to “defame and vilify Carter and otherwise ruin his reputation for the purposes of garnering attention and fame and/or extorting money from Carter,” per People. The filing also alleges that since Ruth filed her lawsuit, Carter has lost $2.3 million.
“Carter will not allow himself to be smeared in this way,” the lawsuit reads, per The Guardian. “Protecting one’s reputation and name by calling a liar a liar is not victim blaming or bullying. It is simply telling the truth.”
In Ruth’s filing, she alleges Carter sexually assaulted her after a show in Tacoma, Washington when she was 17. In 2017, Schuman—a former member of the girl group Dream—accused Carter of rape, but the court proceedings were soon dismissed due to the statute of limitations.
As if villainizing a public campaign meant to hold an abuser accountable was not a reprehensible enough defense, the suit filing also brings Carter’s recently deceased brother, Aaron Carter, into the mix, citing his long battles with substance abuse and his mental health.
“The Schumans’ timing couldn’t have been better since, at the time, Aaron was addicted to drugs, battling serious mental health issues, and engaged in a misguided campaign of retaliation against Carter and other members of his family who were worried about Aaron and pushing him to seek professional help,” the suit reads. “Schuman, Jerome, and Ruth exploited Aaron’s fragile condition and family stresses to cloak their defamatory campaign with credibility, relentlessly and repeatedly using Aaron to try to legitimize their frivolous tales.”
“In the months leading up to his recent death, Aaron not only apologized to Carter for his involvement in the Counter-Defendants’ smear campaign, but publicly stated that Schuman and Ruth were liars,” the lawsuit claims.
Ruth’s attorney Mark J. Boskovich said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times, “Why should Nick Carter be believed with his long history of abusing females? A jury will weigh the evidence and decide.”