Ryan Adams Apologizes for ‘Mistakes,’ Denies Sex Chats With Underage Teen

New York Times story details accusations of emotional abuse by seven women, including ex-wife Mandy Moore

Last Updated: February 19, 2019 @ 11:16 AM

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams used his musical success to lure, manipulate and emotionally abuse seven women, including an underage teenage girl and his former wife, “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore, according to a New York Times investigation.

The Times described a pattern of Adams offering career opportunities to young female artists, then pursuing sex. Wielding his power as a successful musician/producer and record-company founder, he would sometimes “turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subject[ed] women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media,” the Times wrote.

“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,” Adams tweeted Wednesday. “But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. 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.”

He added: “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.”

The Times’ corroboration included family members and friends and Adams’ own correspondence. You can read the full Times story here. (Adams is not be confused with Canadian rock icon Bryan Adams.)

One 20-year-old woman, identified by the Times only as Ava, said Adams first contacted her when she was 14 and a promising bass player. Their online communications about music turned sexual, and the newspaper said they eventually spoke in video calls in which Adams exposed himself and discussed sex — while fretting about her age.

“I never see pics of you anymore,” Adams wrote in November 2014, when he had just turned 40 and she had just turned 16, according to the Times.

Days later, he wrote: “If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” the newspaper said, adding that he asked her to touch her nipple within 10 minutes of that remark.

“And tell me that your mom is not gonna kill me if she finds out we even text,” he wrote.

She said she sometimes told him she was 18, but never showed him any ID.

Andrew B. Brettler, Adams’s lawyer, said Adams did not recall such exchanges. “Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage,” Brettler told the Times.

The lawyer added that “if, in fact, this woman was underage, Mr. Adams was unaware.” He said she had performed in clubs and appeared to be about 20.

The Times said Adams also dated musician Phoebe Bridgers when she was 20, after offering to help her career. But she said he became obsessive and emotionally abusive, texting demands for phone sex and suicide threats if she didn’t quickly reply.

Artist Courtney Jaye, who was 35 at the time, said Adams mixed offers of musical help with sexual pursuit, and that she once ended up in bed with him, though they didn’t have sex. She said she felt that he had taken advantage of her. His attorney said the two “never had a writing session where they ended up in bed.”

Two additional female singer-songwriters, who declined to be identified, also described Adams offering career advice while aggressively pursuing them, then following up with threats if the relationships did not go his way.

Moore met Adams in 2007, when she was 23 and he was a decade older. They married in 2009. In 2010, he offered to work on her next album, but, she said, “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 told the Times. Their marriage ended in 2016.

Adams told the Times that her characterization was “completely inconsistent with his view of the relationship,” and said he supported her “well-deserved professional success.”

Megan Butterworth, Adams’s ex-fiancée, also called him controlling and emotionally abusive, and said he sometimes smashed things and physically intimidated her, though he didn’t hit her. She said he harassed her online after they broke up.

Here are Adams’ tweets:

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