Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter has countersued Shannon Ruth, the woman who accused him of rape and sexual abuse in December, and others who accused him of sexual assault.
In addition to countersuing Ruth, Carter named Melissa Schuman, of the former girl group Dream, and Schuman's father Jerome Schuman for what he alleged was the "culmination of an approximate five-year conspiracy ... to harass, defame and extort" him. Schuman accused Carter of rape in November 2017, alleging the assault happened in 2003, all allegations Carter has continually denied.
The counterclaim, filed Feb. 2 and obtained by ABC News, states that Schuman and her father Jerome "groomed and coached Ruth" and persuaded her to "inflate her initial claim of being abused at the hands of a third-party, to being physically abused at the specific hands of Carter, and, finally, to being sexually assaulted by Carter."
The countersuit also claims that Carter's encounter with Schuman was consensual, that there were significant inconsistencies in multiple statements Ruth has made about their alleged meeting, and that following Schuman and Ruth's previous allegations of assault, "thorough and independent investigations were conducted into both cases -- and both resulted in no charges being filed against Carter."
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office stated in September 2018 that prosecutors would not be pressing sexual assault charges against Carter because the statute of limitations had expired in 2013.
"Since November 2017, Carter has become the target of a small opportunistic group of conspirators engaged in a harassing, defamatory and otherwise tortious campaign to ruin his reputation for the purpose of advancing their own agendas," Thursday's counterclaim reads. "The effect of this group's unlawful conduct and continued harassment has taken an immense toll on Carter, his family, and his band, both emotionally and financially."
An anonymous Twitter account is also named as a counter-defendant in the suit. The suit states the owner of the account is believed to be one of the three other counter-defendants who created the account "for the purpose of laundering their defamatory narratives." The suit says that the countersuit will be amended to add the owner of the account "should the owner prove not to be Schuman, Jerome and/or Ruth."
The countersuit also describes Carter's late brother, Aaron Carter, and his estranged relationship with his brother, as being "exploited" by Schuman, Schuman's father and Ruth. Aaron Carter died in November 2022.
Carter is seeking "damages in an amount of no less than $2,350,000" due to the "cancellation" of various Backstreet Boys events and deals after Ruth sued him in December, including an appearance on "Good Morning America" and ABC's "A Very Backstreet Holiday" Christmas special, as well as other "contracts and/or endorsement deals" with companies like "MeUndies, VRBO and Roblox." He is also seeking emotional distress damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, costs of suit, pre- and post-judgment interest and "other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper."
The counterclaim describes the counter-defendants as "opportunists" who "disgracefully attempted to exploit the #MeToo movement."
"Carter will not allow himself to be smeared in this way," the counterclaim reads. "Protecting one's reputation and name by calling a liar a liar is not victim blaming or bullying. It is simply telling the truth."
Mark Boskovich, an attorney for Ruth, reacted to Carter's countersuit in a statement to ABC News, saying "a jury will weigh the evidence and decide."
ABC News has reached out to Melissa Schuman for comment on Carter's claims, but has not heard back.
In December, Ruth filed a lawsuit against Carter alleging he had raped and sexually assaulted her in 2001 after meeting him at a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington. Ruth, now 39, was 17 at the time of the alleged incident while Carter, now 42, was 21. In his countersuit, Carter says he believes he never met Ruth.
ABC News does not usually identify the alleged victims of sexual assault, but Ruth gave permission to media outlets to use her name.
At a press conference in Beverly Hills, California, in December, Ruth, who says she is on the autism spectrum and has a mild case of cerebral palsy, said "nothing" has affected her more in life than Carter's alleged actions.
"After my assault, I started cutting myself. I felt like I had nowhere to turn," she said. "No way to express my emotions, pain and confusion, except by hurting myself."
Michael Holtz, an attorney for Carter, called the allegations "meritless" in a statement shared at the time.
"This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue," the statement read. "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."
Ruth said in the December press conference that her motivation for speaking out and filing the lawsuit was "to stop Nick Carter from assaulting more teens and women."