Rocker Ryan Adams accused of abuse, sex misconduct
NEW YORK, USA — Alternative singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has been accused by several women of emotional abuse and exploiting his position as a career mentor as a means to obtain sex.
An expose in The New York Times details a pattern of manipulative behavior from the 44-year-old Grammy-nominated artist, including testimony from performer Mandy Moore, his ex-wife.
In one instance the newspaper — which interviewed more than half a dozen women and reviewed a trove of the US rocker's digital communications — describes Adams as sending graphic texts to a 14-year-old aspiring bass player and exposing himself on Skype.
The paper said he continued the sexually provocative correspondence for months despite appearing to doubt that she was of age.
The country-influenced rocker — known for his strong personality — also allegedly presented women with opportunities to build their profiles while pursuing sex with them, turning angry and sometimes verbally abusive when rejected.
Adams, who found fame as a solo artist in the 2000s thanks to his debut album Heartbreaker, apologized but denied the accusations shortly after the story's publication, saying "to anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly."
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
"But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate," he tweeted. "Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period."
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 thought was underage. Period.— 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
Adams' ex-wife Moore who rose to celebrity as a pop star and now performs in the television series This Is Us — said Adams belittled her career while engaging in a "destructive, manic sort of back and forth behavior."
"Music was a point of control for him," said Moore, who is a decade younger than Adams and was 23 when she met him.
The music world so far has been less impacted by the #MeToo movement and crusades against workplace harassment than sectors including Hollywood and media, despite a growing legion of people saying the industry shields pervasive abuse.
The allegations against Adams come amid renewed scrutiny of R&B superstar R. Kelly, 52, whose career has flourished for decades despite lurid accusations including of operating a sex cult.
Moore told the Times Adams discouraged her from working with others, promising to support her career but never following through.
She married him in 2009 and has not released an album since, saying "his controling 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." In 2016, the pair finalized their divorce.
Emerging folk rocker Phoebe Bridgers, 24, who released her major label debut at Adams' studio in Los Angeles, said she initially saw the industry insider as someone who "had the power to propel people forward."
But after the two began a romantic relationship — Bridgers was 20, Adams 40 — she said she found that the "mythology around him" masked darker tendencies.
The young musician described emotionally abusive and sexually manipulative behavior including pressuring her for on-demand phone sex and threatening suicide when she didn't immediately respond.
Moore said coming forward and learning that her own trauma was not unique has helped her heal — and rediscover music-making aspirations.
"I'm not going to let Ryan stop me," she said. — Rappler.com