Entertainment

Singer Ryan Adams accused of inappropriate behaviour with aspiring musicians

A New York Times report says 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.

Ex-wife Mandy Moore, ex-fiancée Megan Butterworth among those speaking out

Singer Ryan Adams has been accused of inappropriate and manipulative behaviour with aspiring female musicians, including by his ex-wife, Mandy Moore, and another woman who was 15 and 16 at the time they worked together. (Dan Hallman/Invision/Associated Press)

A New York Times report says 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 the story published Wednesday, 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 that Adams exposed himself during a video call.

The FBI told the Times that it has opened an investigation into Adams's actions. The release of his latest album, Big Colors, has been delayed because of the scandal.

Adams' ex-wife, actress and singer Mandy Moore, said Adams was psychologically abusive toward her throughout their marriage. Their divorce was made official in 2016.

Mandy Moore, a successful actress now seen in TV's This Is Us, said Adams was psychologically abusive toward her throughout their marriage, which officially ended in 2016. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Times said the accounts have been corroborated by family members or friends who were present at the time. Adams' lawyer denied the claims to the Times.

After the article was published, Adams tweeted Wednesday that "I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes."

"To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly," he wrote. "But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. 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."

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 such as Willie Nelson and Jenny Lewis.

Last month, Adams performed at a tribute concert for the late rock singer Chris Cornell.

Adams, far right, performs with his band during I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell in January. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

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.

If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol- November 2014 text message 

"Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage," Andrew B. Brettler, Adams' lawyer, told the Times.

The singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye said Adams behaved inappropriately during their relationships.

Model Megan Butterworth, who was formerly engaged to Adams, is among the women making accusations against him. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Moore, one of the stars of NBC's award-winning series This Is Us, burst on the scene as a teen singer and 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," the 34-year-old Moore said to the Times.

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