Nick Carter countersues women who accused him of sexual assault
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Nick Carter is countersuing two women who accused him of committing sexual assault on two occasions more than 15 years ago.
Carter’s legal response comes after Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed a sexual battery lawsuit against him in Clark County, Nevada, in December.
Ruth, a 39-year-old woman who says she lives with with autism and cerebral palsy, alleges that Carter gave her alcohol and assaulted her after a concert in Tacoma, Washington in February 2001. She was 17 at the time of the alleged incident.
Carter has denied the allegation.
“Having met and encountered millions of fans over the course of his 34-year career, it would be impossible for Carter to definitively know if he ever actually crossed paths with Ruth,” his countersuit, filed in Clark County on Thursday and obtained by CNN, states. “Carter is certain that he did not have sex with Ruth, did not grab her arm, and did not sexually assault or bully her.”
He also alleges that Ruth was “groomed and coached,” in part, by Melissa Schuman Henschel and her father, Jerome Schuman.
In 2017, Schuman Henschel accused Carter of raping her 15 years prior. Carter denied Schuman Henschel’s allegation, stating in part, “Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual.”
Prosecutors in Los Angeles, where Schuman sought to bring charges against Carter, said in a filing at the time that they declined the matter without analyzing the “strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.”
Carter’s counterclaim also named Schuman Henschel’s father Jerome as a counter-defendent along with twenty unnamed people and corporations whom Carter alleges “are responsible for damages he suffered.”
Additionally, Carter’s filings allege that Ruth made false reports to police with “significant and numerous discrepancies and inconsistencies in her reports.” He claims that Ruth previously admitted that she was not sexually assaulted by Carter and that the two women are taking advantage of the #MeToo movement.
“In an important development in recent American history, the #MeToo movement was born and rightfully created a platform for victims of abuse,” the suit states. “Unfortunately, some people chose to take advantage of that platform. Those individuals felt that any voice and any accusation, right or wrong, would carry the day because the world was finally listening to accusers.”
CNN has reached out to representatives for Carter, Ruth, Schuman Henschel and ABC for comment.
Carter has not been charged criminally in relation to Ruth’s allegation.
The singer is seeking more than $2.3 million in damages, citing a decision by ABC to cancel the television special “A Very Backstreet Holiday” amid Ruth’s suit. He is also seeking punitive and emotional distress damages to be determined by the court, along with attorney’s fees.
“Why should Nick Carter be believed with his long history of abusing females?” Ruth’s attorney, Mark J. Boskovich, told Page 6 when asked about Carter’s countersuit. “A jury will weigh the evidence and decide.”
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