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Ryan Adams apologizes after sexual misconduct allegations: ‘I will never be off the hook’

Ryan Adams performs for a Biz Session on Sept. 1, 2011 in London, England.
Ryan Adams performs for a Biz Session on Sept. 1, 2011 in London, England. Dave Hogan/Getty Images

WarningThis article may be triggering for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.

After nearly a year of silence pertaining to the matter, American singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has spoken out about several sexual misconduct allegations pitted against him last year.

In February 2019, the New York Times‘ reported that seven women claimed Adams offered to help them with their music careers before attempting to turn things in a sexual manner. He was reportedly emotionally and verbally abusive.

Adams’ ex-wife, actress and singer Mandy Moore, too, claimed Adams was psychologically abusive toward her throughout their marriage. Their divorce was finalized in 2016. The former couple was married in 2009.

“There are no words to express how bad I feel about the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career,” Adams, 45, wrote via the Daily Mail on Friday (July 3). “All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s that simple.”

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Musician Ryan Adams attends the Capitol Records 75th anniversary gala at Capitol Records Tower on Nov. 15, 2016, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Musician Ryan Adams attends the Capitol Records 75th anniversary gala at Capitol Records Tower on Nov. 15, 2016, in Los Angeles, Calif. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

“This period of isolation and reflection made me realize that I needed to make significant changes in my life,” the musician added.

Adams continued: “I’ve gotten past the point where I would be apologizing just for the sake of being let off the hook and I know full well that any apology from me probably won’t be accepted by those I’ve hurt. I get that and I also understand that there’s no going back. To a lot of people this will just seem like the same empty bulls—t apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different.”

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Of the numerous allegations pitted against him, one 20-year-old female musician — identified by her middle name, Ava — told the Times that Adams had inappropriate conversations with her starting when she was only age 15.

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She further claimed that Adams exposed himself to her during a video call.

Ava claimed 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. Kelly lol,” he reportedly wrote to her via text in November 2014 — when he was 40 and she was 16.

Moore, one of the stars of NBC’s award-winning This Is Us, burst on the scene as a teen singer who 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,” a 34-year-old Moore told the Times.

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In his most recent apology, the Come Pick Me Up singer said that his actions had “wrecked.”

Though he did not explicitly admit to any of the accusations against him, Adams added that he was “still reeling from the ripples of devastating effects that (his) actions triggered.”

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He later described the consequences of his actions an “albatross” that he said he “deserves to carry.”

“I made a promise to myself that no matter what it took, I would get to the root of these issues and finally start to fix myself so I could be a better friend, a better partner, and a better man overall,” Adams said.

Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams attend The 2012 MusiCares Person Of The Year Gala Honouring Paul McCartney at Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams attend The 2012 MusiCares Person Of The Year Gala Honouring Paul McCartney at Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Following up, the multi-time Grammy Award nominee admitted that he had since got professional help in order to get sober and lift his mental health, before noting that he’s still been writing music.

Adams said he had “enough music to fill half a dozen albums” about “the lessons (he’s) learned over the last few years.”

“I hope that the people I’ve hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me,” he concluded.

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After catching wind of Adams’ apology last week, Moore, now 36, said during an interview on the Today show on Monday that she had never received a private apology.

The actor continued: “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 do an interview about it without actually making amends privately.

“It’s challenging,” Moore said of her feelings about the apology, “because I feel like in many ways I’ve said all I want to say about him and that situation.”

Months after speaking out against her ex-husband in 2019, Moore returned to the spotlight with her first single in more than a decade. It’s called When I Wasn’t Watching.

Back in February 2019, American singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye also claimed Adams had behaved inappropriately during their respective relationships together.

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

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Shortly after those allegations went public, Adams took to Twitter admitting to making mistakes and apologized “deeply and unreservedly” to anyone he may have hurt.

He followed up by challenging the Times’ exposé, calling it “upsettingly inaccurate.”

“Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false,” he claimed. “I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period.”

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As a result of the allegations, Adams’ then-upcoming studio album Big Colors was postponed indefinitely. However, on Feb. 15, the New York Times reported it had been cancelled altogether. The musician had previously promised fans a trilogy of albums in 2019.

As of this writing, Adams has made no further comment regarding the matter.

Read more: Justin Bieber files $20M defamation lawsuit against sexual assault accusers

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

Are you or someone you know experiencing abuse? Visit the Department of Justice’s Victim Services Directory for a list of support services in your area.

Women, trans and non-binary people can find an additional list of resources here.

— With files from the Associated Press

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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