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Former TV dance partner comes to Nick Carter's defense after rape accusations

Backstreet Boys star Nick Carter's former TV dancing partner has come to the singer's defense after he was accused of sexual assault and then pardoned last week (ends01Dec17).

Former Dream singer Melissa Schuman alleged Carter raped her at his home while they were castmates on 2004 film The Hollow, prompting the "shocked and saddened" singer to release a statement insisting the sex was consensual.

Schuman forgave Nick during an appearance on Friday's episode of The Dr. Oz Show in America, during which she was asked what she would say to Carter if she had the chance.

"That I forgive you," she answered.

She added, "I don't want anything from you. I wish you only the best. I don't want your money. I didn't do this to hurt you or your family. I did this for me because I needed this healing and I also came forward because I want to inspire other victims, other people who have been assaulted to come forward and know that they have a voice."

And now Carter's former Dancing With the Stars partner, Sharna Burgess, has stepped forward to help Nick bounce back from the rape claims.

The 32-year-old dancer has posted videos online, stating, "These are only my thoughts, this is not victim shaming, y’all know me and I would never. Just because I support Nick, doesn’t mean I don’t support female empowerment or #metoo. They are both movements that I am a part of, here for and proud of.

"Nick was definitely one of the most respectful guys that I’ve ever danced with on the show. So understanding of the difference between the character and the dance, and then the coach and the dance, all of the different levels of relationships that we have with our partners on the show.

"From day one, he was just incredibly sweet and understanding of what it was that we had to do. He was very accepting of me bossing him around every day... But what I loved about Nick, too, was that he always took ownership of the things that he’d been through - the darkness in his history, the mistakes that he’s made - he wanted to be very open about them and how he felt about them."

Nick and Sharna teamed up for the dancing show in 2015 and finished in second place.