A New York Times report alleged seven women have claimed singer-songwriter Ryan Adams offered to help them with their music careers but then turned things sexual, and he sometimes became emotional and verbally abusive.
In Wednesday’s story, titled, “Ryan Adams Dangled Success. Women Say They Paid a Price,” a 20-year-old female musician said Adams, 44, had inappropriate conversations with her while she was 15 and 16. Identified by her middle name Ava, she said Adams exposed himself during a video call.
Adams’ ex-wife, actress and singer Mandy Moore, said Adams was psychologically abusive toward her throughout their marriage. Their divorce was official in 2016.
The Times said the accounts have been corroborated by family members or friends who were present at the time.
Managers for Adams didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment from The Associated Press, but his lawyer denied the claims to the Times.
“Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage,” Andrew B. Brettler, Adams’ layer, told the Times.
Adams tweeted a thread of messages not long after the report with his reaction: “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.”
He also said he wishes “everyone compassion, understanding and healing.”
Adams released his debut album in 2000 and has earned seven Grammy nominations. He famously covered Taylor Swift’s Grammy-winning “1989” album in 2015, a year after its release. He has also worked as a producer behind the scenes for acts like Willie Nelson and Jenny Lewis.
Last month Adams performed at a tribute concert for the late rock singer Chris Cornell.
Ava said 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 Kelley lol,” he wrote to her via text in November 2014, when he was 40 and she was 16. R. Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct with women and girls but has denied the allegations.
The singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye said Adams behaved inappropriately during their relationships.
Moore, one of the stars of NBC’s award-winning “This Is Us,” burst on the scene as a teen singer 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 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,” Moore, 34, said to the Times.