A woman has filed a civil lawsuit accusing Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter of raping her and infecting her with HPV when she was 17.
During a press conference Thursday at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel, an attorney for 39-year-old Shannon “Shay” Ruth said that Carter sexually assaulted his client in February 2001 after a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Wash. The press conference was streamed live on Facebook.
Ruth identified herself as a rape survivor and granted reporters permission to publish her full name.
Ruth claims that after she attended a 2001 Backstreet Boys concert and lined up for autographs, Carter invited her to join him on the band’s tour bus, where he allegedly gave her “a funny-tasting beverage that he called VIP juice,” then assaulted her on the bus.
Representatives for Carter did not immediately respond Thursday to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment.
“The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm … ,” Ruth told reporters Thursday.
“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 the alleged assault, she said.
She also recalled Carter telling her no one would believe her if she told them what had happened. And soon after, Ruth said, she began cutting herself.
“I felt like I had nowhere to turn, no way to express my emotions, pain and confusion except by hurting myself. And I truly believed that if I told anyone, I would go to jail,” she said.
Ruth also claims in her lawsuit that Carter infected her with HPV, and her attorney said she “had never had a sexual experience in her entire life” when the alleged assault occurred. She is seeking compensatory and punitive monetary damages.