Carter Attempts to Silence Victim Through Cowardly Defamation Lawsuit & Online Harassment
(Los Angeles, CA) — Today, we along with Karen Barth Menzies, filed a lawsuit on behalf of actress and former member of the multi-platinum girl band, Dream, Melissa Schuman. The lawsuit identifies Backstreet Boys member, Nick Carter for sexually assaulting and harassing Schuman. The lawsuit was filed under the new Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act (AB 2777) that allows survivors who were sexually assaulted as adults a second chance at obtaining justice and exposing their abusers.
“Today, we praise Melissa Schuman for courageously standing up and exposing an ongoing culture of horror, cover-up and depravity.” – Attorney Karen Barth Menzies
Nick Carter Uses His Power & Prestige to Target, Manipulate & Sexually Assault Schuman
Schuman first worked with Carter on the set of the horror film, The Hollow. Not only did Carter brutally sexually assault her, but he also infected her with HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted disease for which there is currently no cure. After the abuse, Schuman told her manager about what happened. In response, the manager highly discouraged her from going to the police to file a police report, telling her she was “sorry”, but that Carter has one of the most powerful litigators in the country, and that her coming forward could ruin her career. No report was made to the law enforcement by the manager and Schuman had to continue to work alongside her abuser on the set of The Hollow.
The Defamation Attack: Efforts by Nick Carter to Silence & Shut Down Schuman
Prior to our lawsuit being filed, Nick Carter sued Melissa Schuman for defamation, claiming that she and others “conspired against him to extort money and gain fame.” In addition to Carter’s defamation lawsuit, Carter and his friends have used the internet to harass, intimidate and discredit Schuman in any way possible. “Carter’s defamation lawsuit is a desperate last-ditch-effort to hold onto his fame and reputation,” said Jeff Anderson. “He knows he is running out of options. He is running out of lies. He knows his time of escaping accountability is imminent.”
“Sexual predators do not act alone, they rely on a system of enablers that pressure victims and witnesses to keep silent about their crimes,” said Attorney Karen Barth Menzies. “An important aspect of California’s law is that it recognizes there is frequently a conspiracy to silence survivors and cover-up sexual abuse…the new law provides a path for survivors to hold all parties to accountable in a court of law.”
“The attack by Nick Carter on Schuman is intolerable. He is a coward…and a dangerous one.” – Jeff Anderson
Schuman says she hopes her lawsuit will help other survivors find the courage to hold their abusers accountable. She says, “I’ve faced extraordinary backlash for standing up for myself; I am not the first, however my intention is that I am the last. It’s time that powerful figures in the music industry get the message that they can no longer afford to enable and protect sexual predators. I’m fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform.”
“Melissa’s case describes how powerful, celebrated individuals can weaponize their fan base to intimidate and harass the survivors of their crimes,” said Anderson. “Finally, we have an opportunity now to prove that there are legal consequences to these crimes.”
We encourage all adult survivors of sexual abuse in California to get their power back and take legal action under the Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act (AB 2777).