ABC have reportedly axed the upcoming “A Very Backstreet Holiday” Backstreet Boys Christmas special amid the sexual assault allegations against Nick Carter.
The special was filmed earlier this month in Los Angeles, but will no longer air on Dec. 14 as planned, Variety reported.
The show was set to see band members Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough perform hits from their 10th album A Very Backstreet Christmas to celebrate the holidays with fans.
Celebrities including Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor and Nikki Glaser were scheduled to make appearances on the special.
The news comes after it was revealed on Thursday that a lawsuit had been filed against Carter by a woman named Shannon Ruth, who claimed she’d been sexually assaulted by the singer when she was 17 in 2001.
Legal documents, obtained by TMZ, noted that Ruth was allegedly invited by Carter, then 21, to his tour bus after attending a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Washington as she was waiting in an autograph line.
However, Michael Holtz, attorney for Nick Carter, said in a statement obtained by ET Canada: “This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue.”
He added: “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. 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.”
Ruth claimed she contracted HPV after the alleged assault, noting that prior to the incident she was a virgin. Now, she’s seeking monetary damages, suing Carter, 42, for sexual battery and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, People reported.
“The last 21 years have been filled with pain, confusion, frustration, shame and self-harm that are a direct result of Nick Carter raping me,” Ruth said amid tears during a Facebook live press conference she held with her lawyers.
“Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe that nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life than what Nick Carter did and said to me,” she continued.