Ryan Adams, the 44-year-old singer-songwriter and ex-husband of actress Mandy Moore, has an alleged history of pretending to help women musicians with their careers in order to pursue them sexually, according to a report from the New York Times.
Seven women—including Moore and Adam’s ex-girlfriend Phoebe Bridgers, the up-and-coming indie-rock artist—described to the Times “a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities” while often pressuring the women into sexual situations. Some of the women said they were significantly younger than Adams at the time of these encounters, including “Ava,” who said she was 14 when they first met.
“Music was a point of control for him,” Moore said, who was 23 when she Adams in 2007. (They married in 2009 and divorced in 2016.) During that time, Adams essentially took control of Moore’s music career, she told the Times, by offering to work on her album and suggesting she do so exclusively. Moore said Adams also told her she was not a “real musician.” “His controlling behavior 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,” she said.
Bridgers, who was 20 the first time she met Adams, told the Times that “there was a mythology around” Adams, who heard Bridgers perform, gifted her a guitar, and invited her to record with him. The two developed a romantic relationship that escalated quickly and allegedly grew abusive. Bridgers said he “began discussing marriage less than a week into their relationship” and weeks later, turned manipulative and would threaten to commit suicide if she wouldn’t answer his texts. Adams would also, according to Bridgers, ask her to “leave social situations to have phone sex.” When they broke up, Adams called off their plans to tour together.
The Times piece also details Adams’s alleged pursuit of an underage girl named Ava, who was 14-year-old bassist with a budding musical career when she began talking to him online. “I was really alone,” Ava said, “and he was really friendly and cool.” But as the two began talking, she said he asked her repeatedly about her age, while allegedly asking her to send naked photos of herself or engage in phone sex. According to the Times, Adams had “pet names” for her body parts and Adams once “exposed himself during phone sex” on Skype.
Adams disputed the accusations through his lawyer. The Times:
Andrew B. Brettler, Adams’s lawyer, said that the singer did not recall these exchanges. “Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage,” Brettler said.
Through Brettler, Adams said that he did not have the power to make or break careers and categorically denied the “extremely serious and outlandish accusations” in The Times’s reporting. Adams recalled the interactions with the women differently, his lawyer said, referring to some of the allegations as “grousing by disgruntled individuals” who blamed Adams for personal or professional disappointments and were now out to harm him.
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