ABC has pulled A Very Backstreet Holiday amid allegations of rape against Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter.
The special was canceled after Shannon "Shay" Ruth, 39, filed a sexual battery lawsuit alleging that Carter raped her and infected her with HPV when she was 17, in 2001. During a press conference in Los Angeles this week, Ruth, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, claimed that the then 21-year-old Carter assaulted her after a concert in Tacoma, WA, even though she "begged him to stop," and later called her a "retarded little b*tch" who no one would believe if she spoke up.
Carter has denied the allegations, calling the claim "legally meritless but also entirely untrue" through his attorney Michael Holtz. "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," he continued.
"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."
A Very Backstreet Holiday, originally set to air December 14, features band members Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough as they celebrate the holidays and perform songs from album A Very Backstreet Christmas. Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches, and Atsuko Okatsuka were set to appear in the special.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.
TOPICS: Backstreet Boys, ABC, Nick Carter