Singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, one of multiple women who accused Ryan Adams of sexual misconduct last week in a New York Times article, issued a statement late Saturday slamming the “network” of people who enabled Adams’ behavior.
“It’s been a weird week and I wanted to say a couple things,” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you from my whole f—ing heart to my friends, my bands, my mom,” Bridgers wrote below a photo of herself with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, her bandmates in Boygenius. “They all supported and validated me. They told me that what had happened was f—ed up and wrong, and that I was right to feel weird about it. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
“Ryan had a network too,” Bridgers continued. “Friends, bands, people he worked with. None of them held him accountable. They told him, by what they said or by what they didn’t, that what he was doing was okay. They validated him. He couldn’t have done this without them.”
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It’s been a weird week and I wanted to say a couple things. Thank you from my whole fucking heart to my friends, my bands, my mom. They all supported and validated me. They told me that what had happened was fucked up and wrong, and that I was right to feel weird about it. I couldn’t have done this without them. Ryan had a network too. Friends, bands, people he worked with. None of them held him accountable. They told him, by what they said or by what they didn’t, that what he was doing was okay. They validated him. He couldn’t have done this without them. Guys, if your friend is acting fucked up, call them out. If they’re actually your friend, they’ll listen. That’s the way this all gets better.
Like other women in the article, Bridgers says she had a relationship with Adams in 2014, when she was 20 and he 40, that began as a musical “mentorship” but soon became romantic and controlling, in which Adams would demand that she “leave social situations to have phone sex, and threatening suicide if she didn’t reply immediately.”
Bridgers concluded, “Guys, if your friend is acting f—ed up, call them out. If they’re actually your friend, they’ll listen. That’s the way this all gets better.”
Mandy Moore, who described a similar situation of “psychological abuse” as Adams’ ex-wife, tweeted in support of Bridgers’ statement late Saturday:
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) February 17, 2019
Bridgers released the critically acclaimed album “Stranger in the Alps” in 2017, and united with friends Baker and Dacus for the Boygenius album and tour last year.
She met Adams through a mutual friend who encouraged Adams to check out Bridgers’ music. She told Exclaim last year that his response was, “Okay, you can bring her over, but [first] send me a picture.” Her friend sent Adams a photo. “I didn’t know this was happening, but I guess I passed the ‘attractiveness level test’ for him to be able to record me. We didn’t go over with the intention of recording, but we did end up recording the next day. I appreciate Ryan, but that was bullsh– to find out later.” She confronted him about the incident when the two were on tour later.
“We toured together and I consider him a friend,” she said last year, “but I also did once yell at him about this and was like, ‘This is how you move through the world?’ He’s a confusing person talking about that kind of stuff. I think that overall Ryan’s a good person, I can’t even remember what he said to me, he probably babbled at me, but he definitely listened. He let me talk.” Like other women in the article, Bridgers came forward after learning that his behavior toward others was similar.
Even more serious than Adams’ reported behavior is the claim in the article that he engaged in sexually explicit texts and Skype sessions with an underage fan referred to as “Ava.” Two attorneys told Variety that Adams could be in serious legal trouble over the exchanges with the women, now 20, who says she never met him in person. On Thursday, the Times reported that an unnamed law enforcement official said the F.B.I. is “looking into” whether Adams’ behavior was criminal. The fan was between the ages of 14 and 16 when the interactions, which included nudity, took place. Through his lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, Adams denied that he “ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.”
In the wake of the article, three music-equipment companies ended their sponsorship deal with Adams, and his upcoming release through Capitol Records was cancelled, a source confirmed to Variety.