Male celebrities being accused of sexual harassment is no longer surprising. Sure, we feel the occasional jolt when names like Kevin Spacey and Louis CK crop up, but shocked we are not. Women are now resigned to the fact that there will be a next name, so we wait for it to turn up. A side of sexual harassment accusations with our morning sandwich and coffee thank you. But yesterday, a report about Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter emerged. He’s been accused of raping a woman in 2002. His accuser Melissa Schuman, who was a part of the pop group Dream, alleged that Carter raped her in a bathroom in his apartment.
She wrote an essay on her personal website detailing her ordeal with Carter. She wrote, “I asked him what we were doing in there. He didn’t respond and continued to kiss me. He then pick (sic) me up, put me on the bathroom counter and started to unbutton my pants. I told him I didn’t want to go any further. He didn’t listen. He didn’t care.”
Carter has since denied this allegation and has said that he’s saddened by Schuman’s accusations. But what saddens me is the possibility of a beloved (even if hormone-driven) figure from my teenage years being a rapist. Backstreet Boys’ was a massive phenomenon in the late 90s and early 2000s in India, especially for women. For a lot of young girls, the boy band was an initiation into pop music.
Puberty set its eyes on the Backstreet Boys and Nick Carter held most 90s teen hormones captive. So, it’s all the more infuriating when the boy whose posters adorned our bedroom walls gets accused of being a rapist. But there’s no shock in the room anymore, just dismay. There’s also a helplessness that comes with watching your childhood and teenage memories ruined in adult life. Is nothing sacred anymore?
Backstreet’s back and it’s not all right.