- 07 Jul 20
Both women were part of a New York Times exposé written in 2019 alleging that Adams abused them.
On July 3, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams issued a public apology via the Daily Mail. The apology came over a year after a New York Times exposé, written by Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik, which alleged that Adams psychologically, emotionally, and sexually abused several women as he was attempting to aid their music careers.
Adams writes that he is now sober, and has sought professional help for his mental health in the time period since the initial allegations. While he does not reference specific incidences in his apology, he says: "There are no words to express how bad I feel about the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career.
"All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s that simple. This period of isolation and reflection made me realize that I needed to make significant changes in my life."
Adams' ex-wife – musician and actress Mandy Moore – alongside Karen Elson have responded to the apology. Both women have spoken openly about Adams' alleged abuse in the past.
Consequence of Sound reports that Moore discussed the topic on Today. “I find it curious that someone would make a public apology but not do it privately,” Moore said. “I am speaking for myself, but I have not heard from him, and I’m not looking for an apology necessarily, but I do find it curious that someone would sort of do an interview about it without actually making amends privately.”
Elson, meanwhile, posted a since-removed Tweet on July 3rd that said: “My thoughts on Ryan Adam [sic]. I believe in redemption and amends even for him. However he has not reached out to me since 2018 to apologize for his terrible behavior. In fact back then he called [me] a liar which added more pain and made me disillusioned with the entire music industry.”
According to Pitchfork, Elson tweeted once again on July 5th, stating: “His actions going forward will dictate the sincerity of his statement and if I’m able to forgive. I’ve never demanded anyone to boycott his music. I’m just expressing my opinions on my personal experience and mine pales in comparison to others.”
The original 2019 report in The New York Times had interviews with Moore, Phoebe Bridgers, another singer-songwriter named Courtney Jaye and a woman (speaking under the alias Ava) who claimed that she began corresponding with Adams at the age of 14.
Both Moore and Bridgers said that Adams was "psychologically" and "emotionally" abusive, and the woman identified in The Times as Ava alleges that the two had discussions of a sexual nature while she was still a minor, and that the now 45 year old singer-songwriter "exposed himself during phone sex" while on a Skype video call.
After The Times piece was published, Adams took to Twitter to say: "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 also added in the same Twitter thread that he felt The Times article had painted an "upsettingly inaccurate" picture of him. Later on, after Adams made the decision to pull the release of his album Big Colors, he wrote "I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon."
Speaking on the story recently in an interview with Hot Press, Phoebe Bridgers said: “I even told some close friends and they were like, ‘Oh, I don’t know…’ I was kind of gaslit by the world. Women for generations have been like, ‘Well, why would I start shit?’ If I had said something earlier, I think I would have been known as ‘the chick who called out Ryan Adams’. But because it was after a record or two, there was something else to focus on about me. So it’s dark – I used my privilege to call someone out. A lot of people aren’t as privileged as me, and would then be defined by saying something like that.”
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