Backstreet Boys Holiday Special Pulled by ABC Following Nick Carter Rape Allegation

Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys performs onstage
Scott Legato/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

A Very Backstreet Holiday, the Backstreet Boys Christmas special which was filmed earlier this month and set to air on ABC on December 14, has been pulled from the schedules. The decision comes following rape allegations against the group’s singer Nick Carter.

As reported by Deadline, ABC will no longer air the special after a woman claimed Carter raped her during the band’s 2001 tour when she was 17 years old. Shannon “Shay” Ruth, now 39, has filed a lawsuit against the singer, which alleges the assault happened in February 2001 after a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington.

Ruth claims that Carter, who was 21 at the time, gave her what he called “VIP juice” and then forced himself on her as she “begged him to stop.” The claimant, who identifies herself as autistic and living with cerebral palsy, also alleged that Carter told her that she was a “retarded little bitch” who no one would believe if she spoke up.

“He was nasty and threatening, saying I was going to jail if I told. He also said he’d turn people against me because he was Nick Carter and he had the power to wreck my life,” Ruth stated in the lawsuit. “Carter took away my childhood and my innocence, but he cannot and will not take away my strength or my truth. I am a survivor and always will be.”

Carter has denied the allegations.

“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” said Carter’s attorney, Michael Holtz (via Deadline). “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.”

Holtz 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.”

According to Deadline, ABC will now air comedy repeats in the 8 PM hour on December 14.