Nick Carter hit the stage for the first time since being sued for rape at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball in New York City on Friday night.
The singer performed alongside his Backstreet Boys bandmates, Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough, at the annual holiday concert in Madison Square Garden.
Carter, 42, was seen in footage from the show dressed in all-white and appearing cheerful as he and his group covered Wham!’s “Last Christmas” and sang their 1997 hit “Everybody.”
The audience seemed to receive the “House of Carters” alum well as they clapped and sang along to the performances.
The support also carried over to Twitter, where the hashtag #IStandWithNickCarter was seen trending on Saturday.
On Thursday, a 39-year-old woman named Shannon “Shay” Ruth held a press conference with her attorney and claimed she was raped by Carter when she was underage.
“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,” the woman alleged amid tears.
“Even though I’m autistic and live with cerebral palsy, I believe that nothing has affected me more or had a more lasting impact on my life than what Nick Carter did and said to me.”
Carter then slammed the allegations via his attorney in a statement obtained exclusively by Page Six.
“This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” lawyer Michael Holtz told us.
“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 added.
“No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer – there is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realize.”
Carter was also seen holding his head up high as he smiled and waved to fans in New York on Thursday, hours after the rape allegations were first disclosed.
Despite the “I Want It That Way” singer’s denial and his fans’ backing, though, ABC pulled the plug on the Backstreet Boys’ upcoming holiday special, “A Very Backstreet Holiday.”