Artist News

Ryan Adams publishes apology to women he “mistreated”

By | Published on Tuesday 7 July 2020

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams has issued an apology for having “mistreated people”. This follows the accusations of abuse that were made against him by a number of women, including his ex-wife Mandy Moore, last year.

In a New York Times article in February 2019, six women, including Moore and musician Phoebe Bridgers, accused Adams of offering to help them in their careers, before harassing them and becoming emotionally abusive. In the case of Moore, she said that he also halted her career at a pivotal time.

Musicians Karen Elson and Liz Phair subsequently added their names to the list of accusers, while the FBI launched an investigation into claims that he had initiated a sexual relationship with an underage fan.

At the time Adams denied all the accusations made against him, although he did issue an apology on Twitter to “anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally”.

However, he still said at that time that some of the details of the NYT article were “misrepresented”, “exaggerated” and “outright false”. His lawyer, meanwhile, dismissed the article’s claims as “grousing by disgruntled individuals”.

But now, in a letter published by the Daily Mail, Adams says that a period spent in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused him to reflect on his actions. He writes: “There are no words to express how bad I feel about the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career. All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s that simple. This period of isolation and reflection made me realise that I needed to make significant changes in my life”.

“I’ve gotten past the point where I would be apologising 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 goes on. “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 bullshit apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different”.

“Having truly realised the harm that I’ve caused, it wrecked me, and I’m still reeling from the ripples of devastating effects that my actions triggered”, he says. “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”.

Speaking on NBC’s Today programme, Mandy Moore said of Adams’ open letter: “It’s challenging because I feel like in many ways I’ve said all I want to say about him and that situation, but I find it curious that someone would make a public apology but not do it privately. I am speaking for myself, but I have not heard from him, and I’m not looking for an apology necessarily, but I do find it curious that someone would [speak publicly] about it without actually making amends privately”.