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Nick Carter’s Rape Accuser Says He’s Trying to Silence Her: ‘No Other Purpose Than To Harass’

With the Backstreet Boy countersuing his alleged victim for defamation, her lawyers say his accusations are "preposterous" and must be dismissed.

A woman who is suing Nick Carter over accusations that he raped her in 2001 now says the Backstreet Boys member is trying to “harass and intimidate” her with meritless counterclaims about a “conspiracy.”

A month after Shannon “Shay” Ruth filed her lawsuit in December, Carter countersued — claiming he’d been the victim of a “five-year conspiracy” that aimed to “to harass, defame and extort” him by exploiting the MeToo movement.


But in a filing Wednesday, Ruth’s lawyers said those counterclaims were brought with “no other purpose than to harass, intimate, and potentially silence plaintiff.”

“He seeks to use his wealth and celebrity status to outlast plaintiff,” Ruth’s lawyers wrote. “All while hiding behind being the ‘victim’ of the ‘#MeToo’ movement and the preposterous notion that plaintiff is only seeking attention and publicity.”

Ruth’s lawyers want the case dismissed under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute — a type of law enacted in states around the country that aims to make it easier to quickly dismiss cases that threaten free speech.

“Fortunately, Nevada is among approximately 31 states that have enacted a statutory scheme to prevent such suits or, at minimum, limit their nefarious intent by requiring a party to demonstrate there is a probability of success on the merits before their claim can progress,” Ruth’s lawyers wrote. “This is the very definition of a SLAPP lawsuit, and it should not be allowed to progress.”

A representative for Carter did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.

Ruth sued Carter in December, claiming he raped her when she was 17 years old following a 2001 concert in Washington state. Now 39, Ruth says she waited more than 20 years to come forward because she was afraid of retaliation.

“He told plaintiff she would go to jail if she told anyone what happened between them,” Ruth’s lawyers wrote at the time. “He said that he was Nick Carter, and that he had the power to do that. Due to his various threats, plaintiff did not report Carter’s crimes for many years.”

Carter fired back in January, claiming Ruth had been manipulated into bringing the allegations by Melissa Schuman Henschel — a former member of the teen-pop group Dream who previously accused Carter of assaulting her in 2003. “Ruth was a vulnerable and highly impressionable individual, craving attention and desperate to fit in,” his lawyers wrote.

In legal terms, Carter’s countersuit accuses Ruth, Schuman and Schuman’s father of defamation and other forms of wrongdoing. But in Wednesday’s motion to dismiss the case, Ruth’s lawyers said Carter would not be able to prevail on those allegations because he is a “public figure” – a status that makes it hard to sue for defamation in American courts.

“By his own admission of being an ‘American icon,’ Carter is by definition a ‘general public figure’ in Nevada,” Ruth’s lawyers wrote. “As such, the burden he must meet to defeat an anti-SLAPP motion is significantly higher than would be for the average citizen, and he cannot meet that burden in this matter.”