Ryan Adams accused of sexual misconduct and psychological abuse

Ryan Adams (Image credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic - Getty)

Ryan Adams has been accused of sexual misconduct, while his ex-wife Mandy Moore claims he was psychologically abusive towards her.

A report in the New York Times features accounts from several women, where it's alleged that Adams had a history of courting female performers, offering help and then turning "domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media."

One of the women to come forward is musician Phoebe Bridgers, who claims that when she was 20, Adams offered to release her tracks on his own label. 

The pair became romantically involved, but she claims that Adams then became manipulative and threatened suicide if she didn’t reply to his texts immediately, demanded to know her whereabouts, and wanted her to stop what she was doing to have phone sex.

When they split up, it’s claimed that Adams stepped back from releasing her songs and rescinded a previous offer for Bridgers to open for him on tour.

It’s also claimed that a woman, identified by her middle name Ava, began a correspondence with Adams in 2013 when she was a 14 year old bass player. When she was “15 or 16,” it’s claimed that they exchanged more than 3000 texts over a nine-month period, in which Adams repeatedly asked for reassurances that she was over 18.

The messages became more sexually explicit, and it’s claimed that during a Skype call between the pair, Adam exposed himself to her.

Adams’ lawyer Andrew B. Brettler told the newspaper: “Mr Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.”

Adams ex-wife, actor Mandy Moore, also describes a pattern of psychological abuse during their six-year marriage, in which he would belittle her own musical career.

She says: “Music was a point of control for him. He would always tell me, ‘You're not a real musician, because you don't play an instrument.’”

Adams has issued a statement saying that while he’s not perfect, the New York Times article is “upsettingly inaccurate.”

Adams says: “I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologise deeply and unreservedly. 

“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.

“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.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.