Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams is apologizing for his “harmful behavior” more than a year after several women came forward with accusations that he pursued them sexually and then used their relationships to harass or emotionally abuse them.
In a statement published by the Daily Mail Friday, Adams said he was sorry for “the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career” and that he has spent the past year reflecting on his actions and getting sober.
“That being said, no amount of growth will ever take away the suffering I had caused,” Adams said. “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 February 2019, the New York Times published accounts of seven women, including Mandy Moore — the singer and actor who was married to Adams for seven years — and musician Phoebe Bridgers who shared similar stories about Adams’ promises, insistence on control, and retaliation.
At the time, Adams apologized, but said that the Times story was inaccurate.
In his new statement, Adams did not directly address the newspaper’s reporting, but said that this apology wasn’t “like the same empty bull***t apology that I’ve always used when I was called out.”
“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,” he said. “I hope that the people I’ve hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me.”
According to the Times, Adams exchanged online messages with a fan and bass player identified as Ava beginning when she was 14. The Times, which reviewed the texts, said that by the time she was 15 and 16 the messages included explicit sexual content and that Adams had asked her to keep their relationship secret.
Bridgers, who wrote about her emotionally abusive relationship with Adams in her song “Motion Sickness,” told the Times that soon after Adams reached out to discuss putting out a record of her music in 2014 when she was 20, they started a relationship. Within weeks, Adams was discussing marriage and sending obsessive and emotionally abusive texts, the Times reported.
When she broke up with him, Adams delayed the release of her music and took back an offer for her to open for him on tour, she told the Times. Three years later, she hesitantly accepted a new offer to open for him on several dates.
Moore, who married Adams in 2009, told the Times that he effectively took over her career and that she considered Adams to be psychologically abusive. She said that while they would write songs together, Adams wouldn’t record them. He also would book studio time with her and then replace her with other women, Moore said.
“In my effort to be a better man, I have fought to get sober, but this time I’m doing it with professional help,” Adams said, adding that he is now prioritizing his sobriety and mental health. “I really want to express that I’ve internalized the importance of self-care and self-work. I’m really trying.”