Dream singer Melissa Schuman alleges she was pressured into duet with Nick Carter after he raped her

"My first thought was, 'Do I have to be alone with him?'" Schuman remembers thinking in new docuseries "Fallen Idols: Nick and Aaron Carter."

Singer Melissa Schuman is reflecting on her duet with Nick Carter after sharing disturbing allegations about her experience with the Backstreet Boys singer.

In the new Investigation Discovery series Fallen Idols: Nick and Aaron Carter, Schuman, who was previously a member of the girl group Dream, details the aftermath of an incident wherein Carter allegedly raped her at his home in Santa Monica in 2003. Schuman says Carter reached out to her the day after the encounter. “I received a text message from Nick saying, ‘Why did you make me do that?’ And that text message freaked me out,” she alleges in the documentary. (Carter has denied Schumen’s allegations.)

<p>Chris Polk/FilmMagic; James Devaney/WireImage</p> Melissa Schuman and Nick Carter

Chris Polk/FilmMagic; James Devaney/WireImage

Melissa Schuman and Nick Carter

Schuman says that since she had just left Dream, she couldn’t risk the potential career consequences of pursuing legal action at the time. “I confided in my manager about going to the police, and reporting the crime,” she says. “And he was just like, ‘You know, [Carter’s] got the most powerful litigator in the country. We’re trying to build yourself a name right now, and this will just destroy all of it.’ I was in such a vulnerable position leaving that group, with no financial stability, it was like, ‘Okay, this isn’t a viable option for me.’”

The singer goes on to say that she avoided Carter for a long period after the alleged assault. “I successfully evaded him for about maybe a year and a half, and I started to do music again — I was trying to move on as a solo artist,” Schuman recalls. “And I signed with Kenneth Crear’s management company, only to later find out that Kenneth was like family to Nick. And so I remember Kenneth goes, ‘Nick recorded this song, it’s a duet, and you know he and I were discussing and we both agree you should sing this duet with him.’”

Related: Investigation Discovery announces Nick and Aaron Carter docuseries Fallen Idols: Watch the trailer

Schuman was apprehensive about the proposal. “My first thought was, ‘Do I have to be alone with him?’ and Kenneth goes, ‘Oh, no, it’s already pre-recorded. You only have to go in and do your part,’” she says. “I could feel Kenneth’s eyes on me, like he was observing me, and he goes ‘Nick is dating Paris Hilton.’ Why would he feel the need to say that? What did Nick tell him? And I also thought to myself, ‘Well, he’ll leave me alone.’”

The singer later explains how she recorded the song, “There for Me,” with Carter despite feeling “conflicted” about it, as she felt it was the right career move at the time. She says that after recording the duet, she had to perform a showcase set for Sony Records executives as they considered signing her to their label — and that Crear said Carter would sing at the showcase with her.

<p>SGranitz/WireImage</p> Melissa Schuman


Melissa Schuman

Once again, Schuman felt she had to accept the offer to further her career. “It was incredibly overwhelming,” she describes. “[It was] the very thing I had thought that I was able to avoid, but I felt that I needed to do it for the business opportunity. When the showcase happened, I remember seeing him and I froze, completely froze. I was scared, and I was very cold to him. And we sang our duet. I don’t even think I looked at him. And eventually, he goes, ‘Well clearly we don’t like each other.’ And those were the last words he ever said to me.”

The showcase didn’t have the impact on her career that she had hoped. “After the showcase, weeks went by, and then finally Kenneth said, ‘The label feels that you were vocally weak. They don’t want anything to do with you. They only want to work with Nick, and they’re not interested,’” she remembers. “I was 20 years old. And it’s like I knew in that moment, like, ‘This is it.’ I could hear it in his voice, that that was it. I tried for a really long time, but there was just this part of me that was left behind a long time ago.”

Carter’s attorney, Dale Hayes, Jr., told EW: “These are exactly the same outrageous claims that led us to sue this gang of conspirators. Those cases are working their way through the legal system now, and, based on both the initial court rulings and the overwhelming evidence, we have every belief that we will prevail and hold them accountable for spreading these falsehoods.”

<p>Mario Magnani/Liaison</p> Nick Carter

Mario Magnani/Liaison

Nick Carter

Text at the end of the Fallen Idols segment reads: “In court papers, Kenneth Crear disputed Melissa’s account of her duet with Nick. In addition, Melissa’s previous manager denied that she told him about the alleged assault.”

Entertainment Weekly was not able to contact Crear for comment.

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Schuman says she now views the brief collaboration with Carter as a calculated move on his part. “When I look back on this song now, it feels almost premeditated, where it was presented as if it was going to actually help me, but in reality, it feels more like an alibi for him,” she says.

Carter has repeatedly denied Schuman’s allegations since she first publicized them in a blog post in 2017 — and he has cited the duet as evidence that there weren’t hard feelings between them in the past. “I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations,” Carter said in a statement to PEOPLE in 2017. “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.”

Los Angeles investigators declined to pursue Schuman’s case against Carter in 2018 due to the statute of limitations expiring. However, Schuman filed a lawsuit against the Backstreet Boy in 2023 after a new California law expanded the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases. Her lawsuit followed a separate lawsuit by Shannon “Shay” Ruth, who sued Carter in 2022 for an alleged incident in which the singer raped Ruth on a tour bus after a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Wash. Carter denied all allegations and filed countersuits against Ruth and Schuman.

Fallen Idols: Nick and Aaron Carter premieres across two nights on Monday, May 27, and Tuesday, May 28, from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT on ID and stream on Max. Watch the trailer above.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.