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Ryan Adams Accused of Abuse by Phoebe Bridgers, Mandy Moore, and Others

Ryan Adams has been accused of engaging in abusive and manipulative behavior with young female artists he was ostensibly mentoring in a new report from The New York TimesThe women who spoke publicly about their experiences with Adams include include singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, actress Mandy Moore (who is Adams’ ex-wife), and “Ava,” a 20-year-old former professional musician who says Adams exchanged sexual messages and exposed himself to her on video calls when she was underage. Adams, through his attorney, has denied all claims.

The most troubling claim entails Adams’ alleged inappropriate contact with the woman identified as Ava, a bass player who says she corresponded with Adams online from ages 14 to 16. The nature of their conversation soon turned sexual, Ava said. Adams reportedly had “pet names for her body parts” and repeatedly asked for photos. From the Times:

In the texts, Adams questioned Ava repeatedly about her age, and sometimes she said she was older than she was. Though he did not seem convinced, their sexual conversations continued. “i would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this,” Adams wrote to her in November 2014.

“If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” Adams reportedly texted Ava before the conversation turned explicit. He allegedly added: “I just want you to touch your nipple…And tell me that your mom is not gonna kill me if she finds out we even text.” Adams’s attorney denies his client knew Ava was underage and referred to photos from her professional gigs, saying she looked “approximately 20.”

Bridges, 24, told the Times that Adams began mentoring her and working with her via his record label, Pax-Am, when she was 20. They forged a professional as well as a personal relationship, but according to Bridgers, Adams soon became emotionally abusive and manipulative, allegedly threatening suicide when she was unresponsive to his texts. After their breakup, Bridgers said Adams threatened to shelve songs. The songs were eventually released, and with some reluctance, Bridgers accepted an invitation to open on Adams’ 2017 concert tour.

“Then, the first day, he asked me to bring him something in his hotel room,” Bridgers told the Times. “I came upstairs and he was completely nude.”

Other artists who declined to be named reported that their relationship with Adams followed a similar trajectory, beginning with an offer to help advance their careers while pursing them sexually, and proceeding to alleged harassment and attempted professional sabotage. You can read the entire Times report here.

Update (6:25 p.m. Eastern): Ryan Adams has responded to the Times report in a series of tweets. “To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly,” his response read in part. “But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate.” You can read the tweets below.