Last week, on July 3, the Daily Mail published an apology from Ryan Adams, who was accused of abuse by several women in February 2019. In the apology, Adams did not address specific allegations, but wrote:
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 realize that I needed to make significant changes in my life.
Adams also wrote that he is sober and has sought professional help for his mental health.
As Consequence of Sound notes, Moore discussed Adams’ apology on Today. “I find it curious that someone would make a public apology but not do it privately,” Moore said. “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 sort of do an interview about it without actually making amends privately.”
Karen Elson tweeted on July 3, “My thoughts on Ryan Adam [sic]. I believe in redemption and amends even for him. However he has not reached out to me since 2018 to apologize for his terrible behavior. In fact back then he called a liar which added more pain and made me disillusioned with the entire music industry.”
She added on July 5, “His actions going forward will dictate the sincerity of his statement and if I’m able to forgive. I’ve never demanded anyone to boycott his music. I’m just expressing my opinions on my personal experience and mine pales in comparison to others.”
Ryan Adams’ history of alleged abuse was detailed in a February 2019 exposé by Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik for The New York Times. The report included interviews with Mandy Moore, Phoebe Bridgers, singer-songwriter Courtney Jaye, and a woman identified as Ava, who said that she began corresponding with Adams when she was 14 years old.
Moore said that Adams was “psychologically abusive.” And Ava told The Times that she and Adams had sexual conversations while she was a minor and that the musician allegedly exposed himself to her over Skype.
In addition, following the publication of The Times’ exposé, Liz Phair, who had previously worked with Ryan Adams, tweeted, “My experience was nowhere near as personally involving, but... the similarities are upsetting.”
Karen Elson also weighed in after The Times’ article was published. “I also had a traumatizing experience with Ryan Adams. I’m not quite brave enough yet to speak about my specifics,” Elson wrote on Instagram. “The trauma that lingers is often a very powerful silencer of women as is the business that enables these men to thrive without ever facing consequences.”
Phoebe Bridgers told The Times that Ryan Adams was “emotionally abusive” toward her. She’s since discussed Adams in interviews: A September 2019 GQ interview, for example, includes the following passage:
When I ask her how she’s feeling about Adams’ sudden resurgence, Bridgers shakes her head and offers up an exasperated smile. “He can go fuck off.”
Bridgers also said in the GQ interview, “I just hope everybody is OK.”
More recently, in a May 2020 interview with The New Yorker, Bridgers indicated that she’s not heard from Ryan Adams since the publication of The Times’ story.
When reached by Pitchfork, a representative for Phoebe Bridgers offered no comment on Ryan Adams’ apology. Pitchfork has also reached out to representatives for Liz Phair.
Back in February 2019, after The New York Times article was published, Ryan Adams tweeted, “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 also claimed “the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate.”
In the ensuing days, the release of Ryan Adams’ album Big Colors was canceled. In addition, The New York Times reported that the FBI was looking into Adams’ alleged communications with Ava. Later, in July 2019, Adams resurfaced and wrote, “I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon.”
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork