A Las Vegas judge reportedly denied an attempt to dismiss a countersuit filed by Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter against Melissa Schuman – a former member of teen-pop group Dream who has long claimed that she was assaulted by the singer.
According to TMZ, the judge decided on Wednesday (Aug. 30) that Carter presented sufficient evidence for his defamation case to move forward. In a complaint filed in April, Schuman accused the pop singer of sexually assaulted her in 2003 when she was just 18 years old, while the two were starring in the teen horror movie The Hollow. Schuman alleged that Carter gave her drug-laced alcohol during a party, before taking her away from the group and repeatedly assaulted her despite clear statements that she did not consent.
Billboard has reached out to Schuman’s legal team for more information.
Earlier in the year, Carter was hit with a similar lawsuit from Shannon “Shay” Ruth, a woman who says he raped her on a tour bus when she was 17 years old in 2001. Ruth had asked the judge to dismiss his defamation countersuit under Nevada’s so-called anti-SLAPP law — a statute designed to prevent lawsuits that are filed as retaliation against free speech. However, in March, a Nevada judge ruled that Carter could continue to sue both Ruth and Schuman for defamation over their accusations. Carter’s lawsuit claims the accusations are a “conspiracy” to “to harass, defame and extort” him.
The new ruling comes amid a third sexual assault accusation towards Carter. In a complaint filed on August 28 in Las Vegas court, a Jane Doe accuser identified as “A.R.” claims that Carter sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions in 2003, when he was in his early 20s and she was just 15 years old, including several times on a yacht and once on a tour bus. The disturbing incident allegedly left her with sexually-transmitted diseases and other lasting effects.
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