Melissa Schuman Opens Up About Nick Carter Rape Accusation: 'The Music Industry Has Enabled Abusers Forever'
In the fall, at the height of the #MeToo movement, Melissa Schuman wrote a blog post accusing former Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter of raping her in 2002. In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, she opened up about how life has been anything but easy since the accusation.
The girl group Dream member said that Carter assaulted her in the bathroom of his Santa Monica apartment when she was 18 and still a virgin. She claims he started kissing her, refused her rejection as she couldn't push him off her. At the time, Schuman didn’t press charges. “I didn’t have the money, the clout or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against my abuser’s legal counsel," she wrote on her blog. "I was told I would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.”
“I wanted to do that for my 18-year-old self,” she told the Daily Beast of finally sharing her experience. “My 18-year-old self wanted to do that when it happened and didn’t feel like it was an option. I didn’t feel strong enough, I didn’t feel safe enough to do it then.”
She is disappointed, however, in the fact that people still support her abuser. “I think what is unique for me is that my abuser has a slew of fans, people who support him no matter what,” she said. “And they’ve made it their life’s mission to destroy me. Hashtag with Melissa Schuman is a liar, release my personal home and phone number, threaten my family including my eight-year-old son, drive by my house. And the comments made by Brian, and AJ, and Sharna Burgess only emboldens that harassment.”
"The music industry has enabled abusers forever," she continued. "Unless people start to stop supporting these people, it’s never going to change.”
Read the full interview here. Billboard has reached out to Nick Carter's reps for comment.