A Backstreet Boys Christmas special has been pulled by US TV network ABC following news that a woman is suing singer Nick Carter, alleging he raped her during a 2001 tour when she was 17.
A Very Backstreet Holiday was slated to run on 14 December, but is no longer listed in ABC’s holiday specials guide.
On Thursday, a civil case was filed in Las Vegas by Shannon Ruth, now 39, who said she had been a fan at a 2001 show.
Carter’s lawyer said it was “legally meritless” and “entirely untrue”.
The news of ABC’s decision to pull the festive show, which was filmed in LA this month, was reported by Variety and the Hollywood Reporter, which added that comedy repeats would be shown in its place.
Ms Ruth, who has cerebral palsy and is autistic, filed her sexual battery case on Thursday, accusing the singer of raping her and infecting her with HPV.
Her lawyer Mark Boskovich told a virtual press conference the assault happened after she had queued for an autograph after a concert in Tacoma, Washington.
He said Carter invited her onto the bus, “gave her a funny tasting beverage that he called VIP juice” and ordered her to “perform sexual acts on him” and raped her.
According to the lawyer, the singer said “no-one would ever believe in her” because of her disability, the AFP news agency reported.
Carter’s lawyer, Michael Holtz, responded in a statement to Variety: “This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue.
“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.”
He called the announcement a “press stunt”, adding: “There is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realise.”
The BBC has approached his representatives for comment. (BBC)