Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter accused of sexually assaulting a minor in 2001

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images, FILE

Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, 42, was sued Thursday by a woman accusing him of rape and sexual abuse.

Carter was over 21 at the time of the incident, while the plaintiff was a minor. The lawsuit alleges he also sexually assaulted three other unnamed victims, including one minor. They are not plaintiffs in the suit.

Shannon Ruth, the plaintiff, spoke about the lawsuit at a press conference alongside her attorney, Mark Boskovich, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Ruth said she was sexually assaulted by Carter in 2001 after meeting him at a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington.

ABC News does not usually identify the victims of sexual assault, but Ruth has given media outlets permission to use her name.

"In the last 21 years I've been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me," Ruth, who was 17 at the time of the alleged sexual assault and rape and is now 39, said at the press conference.

Ruth, who says she is on the autism spectrum and has a mild case of cerebral palsy, said "nothing" has affected her more in life than what Carter allegedly did and said to her.

"Carter took away my childhood and innocence," she said. "But he cannot and will not take away my strength or my truth."

Carter did not immediately respond ABC News’ request for comment.

Boskovich summarized the allegations of the complaint, saying Ruth allegedly met Carter in the autograph line and he invited her back to his tour bus, where he gave her a drink he called "VIP juice." After this, Carter allegedly sexually assaulted her. Ruth cried during the alleged ordeal and pleaded for Carter to stop on multiple occasions, Boskovich said.

Boskovich said the civil lawsuit is seeking monetary damages to punish Carter and to compensate for Ruth’s harm, pain and suffering.

If you are affected by abuse and needing support, or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also chat online at or, respectively.

Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 5:18PM by Carson Blackwelder, Angeline Jane Bernabe Permalink