Melissa Schuman, former member of teen-pop group Dream, has accused Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter of rape. In a detailed blog post, Schuman claimed that the alleged attack occurred after she and Carter were cast in the same “made-for-TV movie.” (Both appeared in the 2004 horror film, The Hollow.) Carter allegedly invited Schuman to his apartment and performed oral sex on her, despite Schuman insisting that she “didn’t want go any further” beyond kissing. She claims he then led her to his bedroom and raped her.
Schuman claimed she first spoke to Carter over the phone while she was filming a video for a remix of her group’s 2001 hit “This Is Me,” after her label reps “[anticipated] a spark between the two of us.” A few years later, on the night of the alleged attack, she agreed to hang out at Carter’s Santa Monica, California apartment, bringing along her roommate. She described the encounter – which allegedly occurred when she was 18 – as a “casual hangout” until the Backstreet Boys star, then 22, asked if she wanted to “come into his office and listen to some new music.”
Schuman described the alleged attack in graphic detail, noting she could “draw a diagram of the layout of this apartment.”
“After kissing for a moment, he took my hand and brought me into the bathroom adjacent to his office,” she wrote. “He shut the door and we continued to kiss. I asked him what we were doing in there. He didn’t respond and continued to kiss me. He then pick me up, put me on the bathroom counter and started to unbutton my pants. I told him I didn’t want to go any further. He didn’t listen. He didn’t care.”
Schuman claimed that Carter then took off her pants and performed oral sex on her, ignoring requests to stop. “So I turned off the bathroom light so I wouldn’t see anything,” she wrote. “He kept turning the light back on because he told me he wanted to look at me. I remember thinking at that point that maybe after this he will just stop, but he didn’t.
“Someone in the house knocked on the bathroom door,” she continued. “So he took me into the other bathroom to pick up where he left off. He then took off his pants. I will never forget this moment. There was a bathroom nightlight so although it was dark, it was dimly lit enough for me to see myself in the bathroom mirror. He sat himself on the bathroom counter and asked me to perform oral sex on him. I declined; he was upset. He told me, ‘I did it for you, and it’s only right you do it for me.'”
Schuman wrote that she “felt scared and trapped” as Carter allegedly took her into the bedroom, “threw [her] on the bed” and climbed on top of her. “I told him that I was a virgin and I didn’t want to have sex,” she added. “I told him that I was saving myself for my future husband. I said it over and over again. He whispered in my ear as to entice me, ‘I could be your husband.'”
“I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations,” Carter said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.”
The Dream singer claimed she received numerous voicemails from Carter “for weeks” after the rape, including “one last nasty, angry message.” Schuman told her then-manager about the attack, insisting she wanted to press charges, but she backed down after being told “my abuser had the most powerful litigator in the country” and that legal action “would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.”
Schuman said she was inspired to share her story after reading negative comments (e.g. “She is a big fat liar”) on Radar Online‘s October 26th report on Carter being investigated for sexual assault in 2006.
The singer ended her post with a message of hope. “I certainly don’t want to be ‘known’ for this,” she wrote. “I never wanted anybody to know about my story. I wanted to lock it in a box in my mind and let the memories slowly suffocate as time went on. I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers. If you are reading this and you have been assaulted, know you don’t have to be silent and you are not alone. I know it’s scary. I’m scared. I believe you. I stand with you and together I hope we can bring light to things that have been lost in the darkness for so long.”