Apr 13, 2023
Backstreet Boy singer Nick Carter has been sued for sexual assault by a second woman. Melissa Schuman, actress and former member of the girl group Dream, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Carter of sexual battery and sexual assault, court documents obtained by Fox News confirmed.
“I’ve faced extraordinary backlash for standing up for myself; I am not the first, however my intention is that I am the last,” Schuman said in a statement. “It’s time that powerful figures in the music industry get the message that they can no longer afford to enable and protect sexual predators. I’m fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform.”
The complaint filed by Schuman alleges Carter used “his role, status, and power as a well-known singer to gain access to, groom, manipulate, exploit, and sexually assault” her.
Schuman’s sexual assault civil lawsuit against Carter comes following Shannon “Shay” Ruth’s action against the Backstreet Boy in December. Ruth alleged that the singer raped her in 2001 when she was 17.
“The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” Ruth stated during a December 2022 press conference.
“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 what Nick Carter did and said to me,” she added.
At the time of the press conference, Ruth’s attorney noted that “there are three other women whose accusations are included in the lawsuit against Carter.”
Carter’s defense attorney, Liane K. Wakayama, reportedly called Schuman’s lawsuit “predictable and pathetic” as well as a “PR stunt” which amounted to “extortionate conduct.”
Schuman first came forward in 2017 to accuse Carter of rape after the two had met while filming the TV movie “The Hollow.” Court documents indicate Schuman alleges Carter raped her in 2003 when she was just 18 and he was 22 years old.
In a blog post detailing the alleged sexual assault, Schuman wrote that Carter forced himself upon her at his Santa Monica apartment and took her virginity. “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.”
Carter reportedly denied the rape allegations in 2017.
Fox News confirmed that prosecutors declined to pursue rape charges against Carter at the time due to the statute of limitations having expired in 2013. Schuman’s civil lawsuit against Carter, however, has been filed under California’s AB 2777 law which affords sexual assault survivors with a three-year window to file civil claims for damages.
In February, Schuman and other women survivors of the music industry spoke out at the MusiCares Persons of the Year Gala in an effort to highlight systemic sexual abuse.
“How much does music care?” Schuman asked at the Hollywood event which called on the industry to “change its tune.”
“We need to take concrete steps to make sure that the music industry is safe and equitable,” she added.
“We aren’t just seeking justice and accountability from the predators, but also the industry that enables them, allows and creates a systemic problem of providing access and [the] environment covering up sexual assault that continues to occur … And because of these women and other survivors who are coming forward, we will hold the predators as well as the industry itself accountable so we can put an end to this.”
As we’ve noted previously, a common tactic utilized by accused sexual predators is known as DARVO. DARVO is an acronym which stands for:
The sexual perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender “such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim – or the whistle-blower – into an alleged offender,” according to Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD, of the University of Oregon.
DLG’s sexual abuse case against former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman was recently featured by various news outlets after our two survivor clients passed polygraph tests in an effort to clear their names. The polygraph exams were conducted after Mr. Foreman accused the two women of “extortion,” publicly vilifying them as liars. Although we have challenged Foreman to take his own lie detector test with the same world-renowned examiner we used (who, it should be noted, has been used by Foreman’s defense counsel in previous cases), he has yet to even provide a public response.
Extortion is claim frequently cited by convicted sexual predators, including high-profile individuals like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Guess Jeans co-founder Paul Marciano.
Under a new California law – Assembly Bill 2777 (AB 2777) – adult survivors of sexual assault have the opportunity to file civil claims for financial compensation without being barred by the statute of limitations. AB 2777 opens a three-year window for any sexual assault or sex crime which occurred on or after January 1, 2009. From now until December 31, 2026, all adult survivors of California sexual assault may file claims with Dordulian Law Group (DLG).
Sexual assault survivors may be able to recover various damages through AB 2777 lawsuits, such as:
Filing a sexual assault civil lawsuit can be an empowering option which allows survivors to secure justice on their own terms while also obtaining financial compensation for the harm suffered.
Contact a DLG sexual assault attorney today for a free and confidential consultation at 866-GO-SEE-SAM. Sam Dordulian founded DLG to be a different kind of law firm that specializes in supporting survivors throughout every step of the litigation process while also fighting tirelessly to secure justice on their behalf. As a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council and a former sex crimes prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Dordulian offers survivors like you peace of mind through an unparalleled level of experience, commitment, and proven results.
Dordulian and his team of Los Angeles, California, sexual assault lawyers have helped survivors secure countless multi-million dollar sex crime settlements. Some of our recent case victories include:
Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.
Our California sexual assault attorneys will fight aggressively to help you obtain the justice and maximum financial compensation you deserve for your case.
Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to take the first step toward obtaining justice for your sexual assault case.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.