In a statement issued Wednesday (November 22), Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys denies Melissa Schuman's recent accusations of rape. Shuman, a member of the former girl group Dream, alleges that Carter raped her in 2002. Earlier this month, she wrote about her experience on her blog.
Carter and Shuman were first introduced by their respective label reps over the phone. A few years later, they were cast in a TV movie together, and he invited her to his Santa Monica apartment during their day off from work. She brought her roommate with her. When they arrived, everyone took shots and played video games together. Then Carter invited Shuman into his office to hear his new music.
In the office, they kissed while Carter's music played in the background. Things escalated when he took her hand and led her into a bathroom and, later, a bedroom. Shuman's blog post, which includes the passage below, recounts her alleged assault in vivid detail.
He was relentless, refusing to take my no's for an answer. He was heavy, too heavy to get out from under him. Then I felt it, he put something inside of me. I asked him what it was and he whispered in my ear once more, 'it’s all me baby.' It was done. The one thing I had held as a virtue had been ruined. I went limp, turned my head to my left and decided I would just go to sleep now. I wanted to believe it was some sort of nightmare I was dreaming up.
Carter, meanwhile, firmly denies these accusations and claims his 2002 encounter with Shuman was consensual. In the below statement to Vulture, he wrote he'd never "intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm."
I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.
These accusations come on the heels of many, many similar allegations of sexual assault and misconduct across the entertainment world, from industry mogul Harvey Weinstein to Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick. Shuman wrote that she "lost interest" in pursuing a music career shortly after performing with Carter. After hearing about a second possible victim, Shuman felt it was time to share her story.
"I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story," Shuman wrote. "We are stronger in numbers. If you are reading this and you have been assaulted, know you don’t have to be silent and you are not alone. I know it’s scary. I’m scared."