The musician Ryan Adams has been accused of sexual misconduct and manipulative behavior by several women who say he promised to help further their careers, only to rebuff them when they declined his romantic overtures.
Seven women told The New York Times that Adams, a prolific songwriter who has released 16 albums, had a long history of interacting with aspiring female musicians, some of whom said they were underage at the time he reached out. The women describe a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities in front of them ― chances to open for him on tour, or to have songs released under his record label ― before he would begin flirting with them or exchanging sexual messages.
His ex-wife, the actress and singer Mandy Moore, told the Times “music was a point of control” in their marriage, which lasted from 2009 to 2016. She told the outlet she considered him psychologically abusive and that he hindered her musical career. Similar reports about their relationship surfaced at the end of last year.
Adams denied the allegations in a statement to the Times through his lawyer, who said the singer “unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.” In a statement posted to Twitter, the singer said he was “not a perfect man” and that he apologized to anyone he’d hurt “deeply and unreservedly.”
“But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate,” Adams continued on Twitter. “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.”
HuffPost has reached out to Adams’ and Moore’s representatives for comment.
In some of the more shocking claims, a woman named Ava said she exchanged more than 3,000 text messages with Adams for around a year beginning when she was 15. The woman, now 20, said Adams often turned conversations sexual, exposed himself during a video call and repeatedly asked her about her age, saying he “would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this.”
Another prominent artist, Phoebe Bridgers, said Adams invited her to his studio in 2014 and had her perform for him. He told Bridgers he wanted her to record a single on his label, she said, and later proposed she open for him during shows on his tour. The two began a brief relationship, which Bridgers said turned emotionally abusive. When the courtship ended, Adams retracted the offers for the tour.
He continued to pursue her, she said, and she agreed to open for a few shows in 2017. “The first day, he asked me to bring him something in his hotel room,” she told the Times. “I came upstairs and he was completely nude.”
Bridgers declined to comment further on her account to HuffPost, and Adams denied the incident took place in a statement to the Times.
Adams is scheduled to release three new albums in 2019, the first of which is due in April.