Melissa Schuman, a former member of the girl group Dream, has accused singer Nick Carter of sexual assault in a heartbreaking post.
Writing on her blog Melissa Explains It All, Schuman alleges that the Backstreet Boys singer raped her in 2004—when she was 18 and he was 22.
Now, Carter has responded to the news, saying he is "shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations" and that he did not know the encounter was not consensual.
"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," he said in a statement, AAP reports.
"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 recounted being invited to Carter’s apartment for a "casual hangout" with friends while they were shooting a movie called The Hollow.
Schuman says she and Carter kissed at one point, but then he began unbuttoning his pants.
“He was aware that I was a virgin and that I held to religious conservative christian values,” she writes in the post. “I was vocal about this. Everyone knew about this, including those who repped me.”
“He told me, ‘don’t worry. I won’t tell anybody,’” Schuman alleges, before claiming Cater took off her pants and performed oral sex on her.
“My thought was the only way to get out was to get him to finish what he had started," she says.
“That’s where I saw myself, my reflection, watching myself do something that I was sickened by. Watching myself be assaulted, forced to engage in an act against my will.”
The singer alleges that Carter then took her to a bedroom, where he “threw me on the bed and climbed on top of me".
“Again, I told him that I was a virgin and I didn’t want to have sex. I told him that I was saving myself for my future husband,” she writes.
“I said it over and over again. He whispered in my ear as to entice me, ‘I could be your husband’.”
Schuman claims Carter did not take no for an answer and that he “put something inside of me”.
“It was done. The one thing I had held as a virtue had been ruined. I went limp, turned my head to my left and decided I would just go to sleep now. I wanted to believe it was some sort of nightmare I was dreaming up,” she continues.
The singer says she thought about pressing charges at the time but was advised she "would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly".
You can read Schuman’s account in full here.
If you or someone you know needs help or advice, contact Respect on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.