LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two counter-defendants in a lawsuit against Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter have filed an appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court after a lower court judge ruled against them.
In August, a Clark County District Court judge sided with Nick Carter in part of a lawsuit claiming he sexually assaulted several young women in the early 2000s. The lawsuit, filed in December, alleges Carter raped Shannon “Shay” Ruth when she was 17 years old. Ruth alleges Carter, who was 21 at the time, gave her alcohol, raped her, and threatened her if she told anyone, documents said.
Carter was also accused of rape by singer Melissa Schuman, of the 2000s girl group Dream, who claimed he sexually assaulted her in 2003. The statute of limitations expired before charges could be filed.
Carter has vehemently denied all the allegations. In his counterclaim, he alleges his accusers are taking advantage of the #MeToo movement, calling the women “opportunists” who “set out to thrust themselves into the spotlight and destroy innocent lives.”
In court documents filed this summer, lawyers for Schuman and her father, Jerome Schuman, claimed their clients’ public statements are protected by the First Amendment and were not defamatory. Judge Nancy Allf denied the Schumans’ anti-SLAPP motion, allowing Carter’s counterclaim to move forward.
Allf agreed Carter’s legal team showed enough evidence to move forward with his counterclaim where he said the allegations against him are false and defamatory. The claim references the allegations against him as a “conspiracy,” documents said.
The Schumans’ appeal asks the higher court to review the lower court’s ruling. The appeal was filed Wednesday, records showed.
The anti-SLAPP law, which stands for strategic lawsuits against public participation, is intended to prevent one party from intimidating another in the legal process.
A document filed last week indicates the appeal did not involve “the possibility of [a] settlement.”
In a lawsuit filed in August, another woman accuses Carter of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 on multiple occasions in 2003, documents said. Carter’s attorneys said the case was brought to the police and dismissed as “meritless.”
Ruth and Schuman are named because they chose to identify themselves as victims of sexual assault. 8 News Now does not identify victims of sexual assault unless they choose to publicly come forward.
Carter’s attorney Dale Hayes Jr. sent the following statement:
“Given the progress that we are making in our case against the Schumans, it’s understandable why they would want to try to delay the inevitable result when we expose them and their fraudulent schemes for everyone to see.”
The attorney for the Schumans did not immediately respond to requests for comment.