Nick Carter has swiftly responded to Melissa Schuman's allegation of rape. Schuman, a former member of the early '00s girl group Dream, detailed on her website earlier this month an encounter with Carter in which Carter, after forcing Schuman to receive and perform oral sex, raped Schuman. The incident occurred in 2002, when Schuman was 18 and Carter was 22 and in the height of his fame as a member of the Backstreet Boys. "He was stronger and much bigger than me," Schuman wrote before explaining how Carter's influence and fear for her own career aborted her attempts to speak out. "Who the hell wants to be famous for being raped?"
After news outlets picked up Schuman's story, Carter released a statement.
I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. 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.
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, Schuman remained hesitant about speaking the truth. She wrote, "[M]any of my friends and family asked me if I wanted to come forward with my story." In October, Schuman saw a story online about Carter once being investigated for sexually assaulting a woman in 2006. Nasty comments about the woman finally brought Schuman to open up.
Schuman herself has received a fair share of hate for sharing this traumatic incident.
To quote Schuman, "Victim shaming is a core reason why victims don’t speak out."