Ryan Adams denies manipulating female musicians in his pursuit of sex following New York Times report
Ryan Adams said on Twitter he was not perfect, but that the New York Times report was inaccurate. (Supplied: EMI)
Seven women say singer-songwriter Ryan Adams offered to help them with their music careers before trying to initiate sexual relationships, sometimes becoming vindictive and verbally abusive.
In a story published in The New York Times, a 20-year-old female musician said Adams, 44, had inappropriate conversations with her while she was 15 and 16. Identified by her middle name Ava, she said Adams exposed himself during a video call.
Adams’ ex-wife, actress and singer Mandy Moore, said Adams was psychologically abusive towards her throughout their marriage. Their divorce was official in 2016.
The Times said the accounts had been corroborated by family members or friends who were present at the time.
Managers for Adams did not immediately return an email seeking comment, but his lawyer denied the claims to the Times.
On Twitter, Adams apologised “deeply and unreservedly” to anyone he had hurt, saying he was “not a perfect man” who had made many mistakes.
Adams released his debut album in 2000 and has earned seven Grammy nominations. He famously covered Taylor Swift’s Grammy-winning 1989 album in 2015, a year after its release. He has also worked as a producer behind the scenes for acts like Willie Nelson and Jenny Lewis.
He is highly prolific, announcing recently he would release three albums this year, and has long been a critical favourite, mixing elements of Americana and punk rock.
Ava said Adams constantly questioned her about her age throughout the nine months they exchanged text messages. The report said she never showed him any identification, and he had pet names for her body parts.
“If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” he wrote to her via text in November 2014, when he was 40 and she was 16. R. Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct with women and girls but has denied the allegations.
“Mr Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage,” Adams’ layer, Andrew B Brettler, told the Times.
Artists Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye said Adams behaved inappropriately during their relationships.
Moore, one of the stars of NBC’s award-winning This Is Us, burst onto the scene as a teen singer and had musical success in the late ’90s and early 2000s. She claimed Adams stalled her music career and told her, “You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument”.
“His controlling behaviour 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,” 34-year-old Moore said to the Times.