Nick Carter's attorney calls sexual assault claim "legally meritless," "entirely untrue" and a "press stunt"

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images, FILE

 (A previous version of this story was published on Friday, 12/9/22. This version has been updated to include ABC's confirmation of the status of the Backstreet Boys holiday special.)

An attorney for Backstreet Boy Nick Carter has called the lawsuit filed against the singer, accusing him of sexual assault in 2001, "entirely untrue."

In a statement obtained by ABC News, Michael Holtz, attorney for Nick Carter, says, "This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue."

As previously reported, 39-year-old Shannon Ruth, the plaintiff, claims she was sexually assaulted by Carter in 2001 after meeting him at a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington.  The civil lawsuit is seeking monetary damages to punish Carter and to compensate for Ruth's "harm, pain and suffering," said her attorney.

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

Holtz's statement continues, "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."

Meanwhile, ABC has confirmed that it will no longer air a Backstreet Boys holiday TV special, which they filmed earlier this month in Los Angeles with guests Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Nikki Glaser and others.  

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.

Friday, December 9, 2022 at 10:20AM by Andrea Dresdale Permalink