Singer Melissa Schuman, 33, has accused Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter of rape. The California-based singer came forward by way of a blog post, sharing her story with the world.
Schuman completed basic, intermediate & advanced levels of improvisation at the Groundlings School in Hollywood and also trained under the direction of Brad Garrett at Scott Sedita Acting Studios, according to her IMDb page.
Here is what you need to know:
1. She Claims She Was Raped by Carter When She Was 18 & He Has Denied Those Claims
Schuman’s candid blog post is titled “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody.” In it, she claims that she was raped by Carter when she was 18 years old. She describes the alleged incident as “a burden I thought I’d have to carry for the rest of my life and suffer in silence.”
Schuman explained that Carter had a “romantic interest” in her, and says that he had his rep reach out to her label to arrange a phone conversation. Nothing came of the call as Schuman had a boyfriend at the time. A few years later, she and Carter were both cast in a tv movie — and that’s when Schuman says she was raped.
“He didn’t listen. He didn’t care. He told me, ‘don’t worry. I won’t tell anybody,’” Schuman wrote. She went on to detail the night.
As for why Schuman didn’t come forward earlier, she explains, “I didn’t have the money, the clout or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against my abuser’s legal counsel. I was told I would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly. I was focused on building a career and name for myself at the time and I didn’t want what he did to further affect my life and future.”
A day after Schuman’s story was published, Carter released the following statement.
“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. 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.”
2. She Doesn’t Want to Be Victim Shamed
In her blog post, Schuman posted a photo of a recent Radar Online headline that claimed that Carter had been investigated for “sexually assaulting a fan at a house party.” She pointed readers to the comments section of the article, which she referred to as “victim shaming.” She went on to explain that she didn’t want to come forward with her story because she was afraid of receiving this kind of negative feedback.
“Victim shaming is a core reason why victims don’t speak out. The last comment is exactly what keeps victims, like myself, from ever speaking out.”
“The victim in the above article remains unnamed and I can’t blame her. I can’t help but feel empathy for her as well as sicken by the lack of belief and support. There is nothing worse than being victimized and having others call you a liar. Or claim you are looking for 15 mins of fame.”
“Let me ask this simple question. Who the hell wants to be famous for being raped?”
Schuman said that she is “scared,” but that she hopes that her story will “inspire and encourage other victims” to speak out about what happened to them.
3. She Is Married to Brandon Henschel & They Have a Son Together
Schuman married her husband, Brandon Henschel, in 2006. Their son, Elin, was born in July 2010.
The two auditioned for the Amazing Race. You can check out their audition tape below.
4. She Was a Member of the Girl Group Dream
You may recognize Schuman as a member of the pop girl group, Dream. The other members were Holly Blake-Arnstein, Ashley Poole, and Alex Chester. Dream was first discovered in 1998 and was originally called “First Warning.” After their formation, they joined forces with Sean Combs. After he saw them perform a private showcase at the Beverly Hills Hotel, he signed them to his label, Bad Boy Records.
In 1999, Chester left the group and was replaced by Diana Ortiz.
Dream released their first single, “He Loves U Not” in 2000, and their debut album, It Was All a Dream, was released the following year.
In 2002, Schuman left Dream to pursue a career in acting. Schuman was replaced by Kasey Sheridan, but Dream couldn’t survive, and the girls went their separate ways after being dropped by Bad Boy Records. Their second studio album, which had been recorded before their split, was released in 2005. Reality was made available for purchase on iTunes in 2008.
Schuman ended up pursuing a career in music, and in 2008, she teamed up with Poole to start the group Lady Phoenix. A month later, the girls welcomed Ortiz into their group, but ultimately couldn’t make things work. They disbanded in 2012.
Two years ago, Dream’s original members announced that they were planning a comeback. The girls released a video of themselves performing “He Loves U Not” and said that they were planning to release a third album. They took to Twitter to make the announcement, which delighted many of their fans. You can see the tweet below.
On October 5, 2016, Poole took to social media to let Dream fans know that the girls had gone their separate ways once more.
“This is for all my beautiful & loyal fans. I hope it brings you closure. I love all of you — but you already know that because we talk all the time,” she captioned a video of the announcement.
“He Loves U Not” appeared on Billboard’s list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time at #36 this past July.
5. She Has Done Some Acting Work Over the Years & Had a Web Series
Over the years, Schuman has starred in various movies and television movies. It started back in 1997 when she landed the role of Erica Baker in Tiger. She didn’t do any acting while with Dream, but got back to it in 2002, starring as Sheila in the television movie Anna’s Dream. The following year, she played the role of Shannon Devries in another TV movie, Recipe for Disaster.
Schuman appeared in a couple more shows through 2005, but then took a 10-year hiatus. During this time, she tried to get back into music. After the aforementioned failed attempt to reunite with Dream, Schuman appeared in a web series called Actress(es): A Web Series.