As the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum last fall, singer Melissa Schuman wrote a disturbing blog post accusing former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter of raping her in 2002 — an incident that he would later claim was consensual. In a new interview with the Daily Beast, Schuman detailed how difficult life has been for her since coming forward in November, claiming that she has endured “non-stop” harassment and personal attacks, but very little support from the music industry.
Schuman, a member of the 2000-era girl group Dream, claims that Carter assaulted her in the bathroom of his Santa Monica apartment when she was 18 and still a virgin. According to her account, he started kissing her, and then allegedly refused to take no for an answer when he pushed for more. At the time of the alleged assault, Schuman didn’t file charges out of fear of professional repercussions. It wasn’t until reading a report about a similar accusation against the singer that she decided to come forward.
After having what she characterizes as a disheartening conversation about pressing charges against Carter with her then-manager, Nils Larsen, in 2002, Schuman told the Daily Beast that she walked away “feeling like the smartest thing to do was to do nothing.”
“I was told by so many people that I had no other recourse,” she said. “What do you do, when you’re told and you believe that you have no other recourse? You’re told to just suck it up and move on and make the best of it.”
In February 2018, Schuman finally filed her police report over the alleged 2003 incident, which she said she did for her 18-year-old self. After more than 15 years, she told the Daily Beast that she finally feels like she has her voice back, and she’s “not shutting up” and “not going away.”
However, she says she still feels unimportant in the eyes of the music industry, as even the people who reportedly believe her have not publicly vocalized their support of her. Furthermore, she claims that the harassment she faces from Carter’s friends and fans is “non-stop,” and that she has even had her personal information posted online.
“I think what is unique for me is that my abuser has a slew of fans, people who support him no matter what,” she said. “And they’ve made it their life’s mission to destroy me. Hashtag with Melissa Schuman is a liar, release my personal home and phone number, threaten my family including my eight-year-old son, drive by my house. And the comments made by Brian, and AJ, and Sharna Burgess only emboldens that harassment.”
While she’s told the Daily Beast that the assault is “still affecting [her],” and will likely for the rest of her life, she’s better able to stand up for herself today than when she was 18.
“The one thing that I have, is I have my voice back,” she said.