Backstreet Boys Christmas special axed after Nick Carter is sued for alleged sexual assault

nick carter
Nick Carter is sued for alleged sexual assaultHeidi Gutman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct allegations.

The Backstreet Boys Christmas special, titled A Very Backstreet Holiday, has been axed by ABC following the sexual assault allegations made against Nick Carter.

It's been reported that Shannon 'Shay' Ruth has filed a sexual battery lawsuit against Carter, accusing him of raping her and giving her HPV after a Backstreet Boys concert in 2001, when she was 17 and he was 21.

A Very Backstreet Holiday was scheduled for a December 14 release and would feature the Backstreet Boys performing songs from their new Christmas album, but Variety reports that comedy repeats will now be shown in its place.

Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle, Seth Rogen, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches and Atsuko Okatsuka were also set to guest star.

backstreet boys’ nick carter performs at the venetian resort on august 19, 2021 in las vegas, nevada
Denise Truscello - Getty Images

The allegations were filed by Ruth on Thursday (December 8) and Carter has since denied them.

"This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue," his attorney, Michael Holtz, said in a statement.

"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 realise."

backstreet boys performing at the mtv vmas pre show in august, 2018
Steven Ferdman - Getty Images

In 2017, Dream singer Melissa Schuman alleged that she'd been sexually assaulted by Carter when they worked together on the ABC Family Halloween special The Hollow in 2003.

Carter denied the allegations and was never charged.

His representatives told Digital Spy at the time: "Nick has denied these allegations ever since he first learned of them last year, and was confident the District Attorney would conclude that there was no basis to pursue charges against him. He is happy to put this matter behind him."

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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