Backstreet Boys Special Pulled After Nick Carter Allegations

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U.S. network ABC said Thursday it has pulled the Backstreet Boys special A Very Backstreet Holiday from its scheduled in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Nick Carter.

The show, taped earlier this month in Los Angeles, was scheduled to air on Dec. 14. It included appearances by singer Meghan Trainor and Canada’s Seth Rogen. There was no Canadian broadcaster.

The special, which takes its name from the new Backstreet Boys holiday album, was also scheduled to be available on streaming service Disney+ following the ABC broadcast.

On Thursday, Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed a lawsuit alleging that Carter sexually assaulted her on a tour bus in Tacoma, Washington in 2001, when she was 17. (The age of consent in Washington is 16.) 

Ruth claimed Carter gave her an alcoholic beverage (the legal age in Washington is 21) and then took her into the bathroom and made her perform oral sex on him. He then moved to a bed on the bus and allegedly continued to sexually assault her.

“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,” Ruth, now 39, said at a press conference. “Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe that nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life than what Nick Carter did and said to me.”

Carter has not been criminally charged and the allegations in the lawsuit have not been tested in court.

In a statement, Carter’s lawyer Michael Holtz called the allegations "not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue." He added: "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. 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."

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