Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has been accused of sexual misconduct and manipulative behavior, according to a New York Times article published Wednesday. Seven women and more than a dozen associates “described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex,” the article claims. “In some cases, they said, he would turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media.”
Singer/actress Mandy Moore, Adams’ ex-wife, says in the article, “Music was a point of control for him.”
The article goes on to accuse him of exposing himself with an underaged girl who at times lied about her age, yet he persisted. “i would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this,” Adams wrote to her in November 2014. “If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” he wrote later.
“Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage,” said Adam’s attorney, Andrew B. Brettler. Through him, Adams denied the “extremely serious and outlandish accusations” in The Times’s reporting. Adams recalled the interactions with the women differently, his lawyer said, referring to some of the allegations as “grousing by disgruntled individuals” who blamed him for personal or professional disappointments.
Adams, Brettler continued, “has communications online with various fans and aspiring musicians,” he “does not recall having online communications with anyone related to anything outside of music,” adding that “if, in fact, this woman was underage, Mr. Adams was unaware.”
Adams also responded on Twitter shortly after the article’s publication. “I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly,” he wrote.
“But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate,” he went on. “Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I though was underage. Period.
“As someone who has always tried to spread joy through my music and my life, hearing that some people believe I caused them pain saddens me greatly. I am resolved to work to be the best man I can be. And I wish everyone compassion, understanding and healing.”
I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly.
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) February 13, 2019
As someone who has always tried to spread joy through my music and my life, hearing that some people believe I caused them pain saddens me greatly. I am resolved to work to be the best man I can be. And I wish everyone compassion, understanding and healing.
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) February 13, 2019
He also said in a tweet that has apparently been deleted, “Happy Valentines Day @nytimes. I know you got lawyers / But do you have the truth on your side. No. I do. And you have run out of friends. My folks are NOT your friends. Run your smear piece. But the leagal [sic] eagles see you. Rats. I’m f—ing taking you down. Let’s learn I bait [sic].”
He also struck up a romantic relationship with singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, the NYT article said. While the relationship started off as strictly musical, the article says Adams began sending Bridgers “flirty texts,” she said, and a “whirlwind romance” ensued. Bridgers said Adams began discussing marriage less than a week into their relationship, and insisted that she open for him on his European tour. But in the following weeks, “Adams’s attention turned obsessive and emotionally abusive,” the paper cites Bridgers as saying. demanding to speak with or and threatening suicide if she didn’t reply immediately. She said he rescinded his offers of tour-support slots after their relationship ended. Through his lawyer, Adams disputed Bridgers’ characterization of their relationship, calling it “a brief, consensual fling.” She also said he later invited her to his hotel room and then answered the door completely nude, a charge Adams denied through his lawyer.
Two other female singer/songwriters level similar claims.
For her part, Mandy Moore, who was 23 at the time their relationship began, convinced her to fire her manager and effectively took control of her musical career. She said that over their six years together he became psychologically abusive. “He would always tell me, ‘You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument.’
“His controlling behavior essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time — my entire mid-to-late 20s,” she continued.
Through his lawyer, Adams called Moore’s characterization of their time together “completely inconsistent with his view of the relationship,” adding that he was supportive of her “well-deserved professional success.”
The article states that the women only recently discovered their similar experiences and have built a support system.
“What you experience with him — the treatment, the destructive, manic sort of back and forth behavior — feels so exclusive,” Moore said. “You feel like there’s no way other people have been treated like this.”
Adams’ long list of exes also includes actress Carrie Hamilton (the late daughter of Carol Burnett), musicians Melissa Auf der Maur, Leona Naess, Parker Posey, Natalie Prass, Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Hatfield and music publicist Amy Lombardi, some rumors from 2006 about Lindsay Lohan, journalist Jessica Joffe, and model Megan Butterworth.
Adams was managed by John Silva for the better part of a decade. According to sources, he has been meeting with several prominent music managers over the past few months to explore new representation.