CONTENT WARNING: The following article contains mentions of abuse and sexual misconduct.
Back in February, musician Ryan Adams was accused in a New York Times feature of emotional abuse, harassment and manipulative behaviour by a number of women, including Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore, musician Phoebe Bridgers, and a woman who was 16 at the time Adams allegedly interacted with her.
In the Times article, seven women detailed a pattern of behaviour whereby Adams “dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex.” In some instances, women recounted Adams’ turning away offers of support, becoming “domineering and vengeful” and subjecting women to “emotional and verbal abuse” when they spurned his advances.
The report alleged Adams engaged in sexually explicit communications with an underage fan. “If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” he allegedly wrote in a text message.
Bridgers, who released her debut 7″ through Adams’ PAX-AM label, claimed Adams turned “obsessive and emotionally abusive” and that when she broke off the relationship, Adams’ offers of support (such as opening for him on an upcoming tour) were rescinded.
“Ryan had a network too,” she wrote in a statement.
“Friends, bands, people he worked with. None of them held him accountable. They told him, by what they said or by what they didn’t, that what he was doing was okay. They validated him. He could not have done this without them.”
In response, Adams, through his lawyer, dismissed the claims, writing a public apology but calling the article “upsettingly inaccurate”, saying details were “misrepresented”, “exaggerated” and “outright false.”
Now, Adams has reappeared online for the first time in five months. “I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon,” wrote Adams in a tweet posted on July 19th. “Because the truth matters. I know who I am. What I am. It’s time people know. Past time. All the beauty in a life cannot be reduced to rubble for lies. This madness. My work was a map for the lost. Not a billboard. So soon.”
I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon.
Because the truth matters.
I know who I am. What I am.
It's time people know.
All the beauty in a life cannot be reduced to rubble for lies.
My work was a map for the lost. Not a billboard.
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) July 20, 2019
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.
For help or information regarding mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.