Content Warning: This story includes descriptions of sexual assault and self-harm.
A woman has filed a civil sexual assault lawsuit accusing Backstreet Boys frontman Nick Carter of assaulting her and infecting her with HPV when she was 17 and he was 21.
At a Thursday press conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, an attorney for Shannon “Shay” Ruth, 39, said Carter sexually assaulted his client in February 2001 after a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma , Washington – a claim that matched the allegations outlined in the lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ. The press conference was streamed live on Facebook.
Ruth identified herself as a rape survivor during the briefing and allowed reporters to publish her full name.
The complaint claims that after Ruth attended the Backstreet Boys concert and stood in line for autographs, Carter invited her to join him on a tour bus, where he allegedly served her a drink he called ” VIP juice,” according to TMZ. She said she believed the drink was a mixture of alcohol and cranberry juice.
Ruth alleges in the lawsuit that after she drank the “juice,” Carter took her to the bus restroom and ordered her to perform oral sex on him, according to TMZ. He then allegedly took Ruth to a bed in the back of the bus and continued to sexually assault her while she begged him to stop.
During the press conference, Ruth consistently referred to the alleged assault as rape.
Representatives for Carter did not immediately respond to a Los Angeles Times request for comment on Thursday.
“The past 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm…” Ruth told reporters on Thursday.
“Even though I have autism and live with cerebral palsy, I believe nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life” than the alleged assault, she said .
In the lawsuit, Ruth also accused Carter of using ableist and misogynistic terms, calling her “r—little b—” and telling her no one would believe her, according to TMZ. And soon after, Ruth said at the press conference, she started cutting herself.
“I felt like I had nowhere to go, no way to express my emotions, my pain and my confusion, except by hurting myself. And I truly believed that if I told someone , I would go to jail,” she said.
Ruth also claims in her lawsuit that Carter infected her with HPV, according to Rolling Stone. She seeks compensatory and punitive damages.