"I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual," Carter said in a statement to ET. "We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm."
In the early 2000s, Schuman was part of the girl group Dream while Carter was, and still is, a member of the Backstreet Boys. On Tuesday, Schuman posted an essay on her private blog accusing the 37-year-old singer of raping her when she paid a visit to his home. At the time of the alleged incident, Schuman says she was 18 years old and he was 22.
Schuman writes that she didn't tell anyone about the alleged encounter for years, and even sang a duet with Carter before losing interest in a career as a recording artist.
The 33-year-old singer says she did consider pressing charges against the boy band member, but claims she was told that she "would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly."
"I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers," Schuman concludes her post along with the popular hashtag #MeToo. "If you are reading this and you have been assaulted, know you don’t have to be silent and you are not alone. I know it’s scary. I’m scared. I believe you. I stand with you and together I hope we can bring light to things that have been lost in the darkness for so long."