Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams took young female artists under his wing and offered to guide their careers, but later exploited and stifled their ambitions, his ex-wife, singer and actress Mandy Moore, told The New York Times.
Times reporters talked to seven women who said they were manipulated by Adams or that he pursued them for sex. Their stories were backed up by associates and correspondence.
Many times his interest in young artists became romantic in nature. In one case, he befriended a 14-year-old fan and musician, and while they never met in person, over a nine-month period they exchanged sometimes graphic text messages and conducted video calls on Skype during which he exposed himself, she told The Times.
The Times reported he encouraged another budding artist, Phoebe Bridgers, and invited her to his studio to perform. He offered to produce her songs and help launch her career, even inviting her to open at some of his upcoming concerts. She says their relationship quickly turned romantic, and shortly thereafter, Adams became obsessive and jealous, ordering her to account for her whereabouts at all times. When she broke off their affair, he became evasive about releasing her music and rescinded the offer to let her open at his shows. When three of her songs were finally released, the media gave Adams credit for her success.
Adams, who has recorded 16 albums and been nominated for seven Grammys, unequivocally denied the allegations. Through his attorney, he says he never had the power to make or break the women’s careers, and that some of the allegations were “grousing by disgruntled individuals.”
The accusations are another notch in the #MeToo movement, and the music industry is clearly not immune.