Shannon “Shay” Ruth: Where is the Survivor Now?

As a documentary series living up to its title in every way conceivable, ID’s ‘Fallen Idols: Nick and Aaron Carter’ can only be described as equal parts bewildering, haunting, and intriguing. That’s because it delves deep into the severe allegations of sexual assault surrounding Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, as well as all the personal battles faced by his late younger brother Aaron. Amongst those to thus feature in this original is actually Shannon “Shay” Ruth, an alleged victim of the former plus the primary plaintiff (there are three others) of the 2022 lawsuit against him.

Shannon “Shay” Ruth Has Admittedly Been Through A Lot

It was allegedly back when Mormon-raised Shay was merely 17 years old that her whole life turned upside down as she was raped on board a tour bus right in her home state of Washington. She was actually diagnosed with autism at age 13, and she has cerebral palsy, yet she has always maintained that this particular incident is the one to have affected her most over the years. According to her accounts, she’d attended the Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue Tour on February 25, 2001, at the Tacoma Dome with one of her only friends and was waiting outside for an autograph when Nick Carter approached her with an invite to tour the tour bus.

“I don’t even really think I knew or understood what was going on, if that makes sense,” Shay revealed in the aforementioned production. “I walked with Nick, and then we got on the bus. Nick got me some cranberry juice, and he was just asking me different questions like, ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ After a while, even though I’d never tasted alcohol before, I was like, ‘This tastes funny. This tastes weird.’ He said something about how it was special VIP juice. I remember feeling dizzy and sick, so he had me go in the bathroom. Nick always had it so he was always behind me.”

Shay continued to allege the musician locked the bathroom door and ordered her to get down on her knees, just to pull down his pants before screaming at her once she began crying. “I didn’t understand in my mind how you could be that person that was sitting there talking to me so calmly, like not even 10 minutes ago, to screaming at me,” she said. “It was so mentally overwhelming and confusing for me,” especially since he then purportedly had her go to a bed at the back of the bus and gave her oral. “I remember saying no, and every time I’d say no, he’d get very upset. He’d get more aggressive and forceful, and he’d push me down harder.”

That’s when Shay ostensibly felt trapped, meaning she sensed there was no way she’d be able to leave the bus and return home if she didn’t comply with whatever Nick wanted her to do. Nevertheless, once everything was said and done, she apparently told him she wasn’t going to keep the events between them a secret, only for him to start screaming again. “He calls me a ‘retarded b***h’ and he grabs my arm,” she divulged. “I honestly felt like my arm was going to break in half with the force he used. He said if I told anybody, I’d go to jail. He would say he didn’t know who I was and that he had the power to do that because he was Nick Carter.

So, per Shay’s account, she backpedaled to make him believe she’d keep quiet until he finally let her go — however, it’s imperative to note Nick has since vehemently denied her allegations. Moreover, not only did she accuse the singer of hurting her by just grabbing her arm in her initial police report, but she also couldn’t remember all the aforecited details at her first deposition. Though she has clarified, she’d subsequently pushed down this ordeal in her mind to such an extent she couldn’t recall anything from the fateful night until she began receiving brief flashes while in her 30s and went to a therapist to understand what was going on.

Thus came Shay’s December 2022 civil lawsuit against Nick for sexual battery — he has never been criminally charged despite her complaint also including allegations from three other Jane Does. In an ensuing press conference, she tearfully expressed, “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. Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe that nothing has affected me more than what Nick Carter did and said to me. Carter tried to scare me into silence… He was nasty and threatening… He left bruises on my arm.”

Then, upon wiping her tears as they fell, Shay added, “I felt like I had nowhere to turn, no way to express my emotion. And I truly believe that if I’d told anyone I’d go to jail. I struggled with blaming myself because I got on the bus with Nick. My motivation with coming forward and filing this lawsuit is to stop Nick Carter from assaulting more teens and women.” After all, she claimed, she knows there are several other women who have drastically similar stories concerning this particular Backstreet Boys’ star, and she hopes her efforts eventually lead to him being held accountable for his alleged atrocious, brutal actions over the years.

Shannon “Shay” Ruth is Still Fighting for Her Justice

From what we can tell, Shay is currently based in Clark County, Nevada, where she’s trying her best to obtain what she believes to be true justice so as to finally move on from the past for good. But alas, the legal proceedings are slow, especially as Nick has since filed a defamatory countersuit, alleging the former has been manipulated by her lawyers as a “press stunt” following the #MeToo movement — he has even deemed her version of events “factually impossible.” Unfortunately, not much else about her is known as of writing as she seemingly prefers to keep both her personal as well as professional lives well away from the limelight for privacy reasons.

Read More: Melanie Martin: Where is Aaron Carter’s Ex-Fiancée Now?