CONTENT WARNING: The following article contains mentions of abuse and sexual misconduct
More than a year after multiple women came forward to level accusations of emotional abuse, harassment and manipulative behaviour against Ryan Adams, the singer-songwriter has issued a lengthy apology for his past “harmful behaviour”.
Last year, Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore, musician Phoebe Bridgers, and a woman who was 16 at the time of their alleged interactions claimed that Adams had pursued them sexually, before using their relationships to harass or emotionally abuse them.
And while he initially called the women’s New York Times-published #MeToo claims against him “upsettingly inaccurate”, “misrepresented”, “exaggerated” and “outright false”, Adams now appears to be owning up.
In a statement published by the Daily Mail, the musician said he was sorry for “the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career” and went on to reveal that he’s now seeking professional help for his issues.
His letter reads, in part:
“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.
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 bull***t apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different. Having truly realized the harm that I’ve caused, it wrecked me, and I’m still reeling from the ripples of devastating effects that my actions triggered.
There is no way to convince people that this time is truly different, but this is the albatross that I deserve to carry with me as a result of my actions.
Realizing the consequences of my actions, I took a hard look inwards and sought to find the truth behind them. What pain was I carrying myself that was so poorly and wrongly being projected onto others?
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. That being said, no amount of growth will ever take away the suffering I had caused. I will never be off the hook and I am fully accountable for my harmful behavior, and will be for my actions moving forward.
In my effort to be a better man, I have fought to get sober, but this time I’m doing it with professional help. Sobriety is a priority in my life, and so is my mental health. These, as I’m learning, go hand in hand.
But I will not bore anyone with stories of my demons or use them to excuse what I’ve done… I hope that the people I’ve hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me.”
Adams also added that he’s used his time in isolation to write enough music to “fill half a dozen albums”.
“Some of these songs are angry, many are sad but most of them are about the lessons I’ve learned over the last few years. Those ones an expression of my deepest remorse,” he said.
Since then, both Mandy Moore and Phoebe Bridges have opened up further about their experiences with Adams, while an investigation has been launched into his alleged interactions with an underage fan.
You can read Adams’ full statement here.
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.