Ryan Adams issues apology following abuse allegations: “I am fully accountable for my harmful behavior”

“There are no words to express how bad I feel about the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career"

Ryan Adams has issued an apology following allegations of emotional and sexual abuse which first emerged against him last year.

Back in February 2019, the singer-songwriter denied claims from several women – including one who was underage at the time – of emotional and psychological abuse, harassment, inappropriate and manipulative behaviour.

These allegations first appeared in The New York Times, in which Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore, Phoebe Bridgers and more offered accounts of their experiences with the artist. Bridgers later issued a statement calling on Adams’ ‘network’ of “friends, bands and people he worked with” to be held to account.

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Now, in a letter penned to The Daily Mail, Adams apologised for how he has “mistreated people” and claims he now seeking professional help following the allegations after a period of “isolation”.

“All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s that simple,” said Adams. “This period of isolation and reflection made me realize that I needed to make significant changes in my life.

“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. 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 bull***t apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different. Having truly realized 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 continued: “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.”

Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams – Credit: Getty

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The letter continued: “Realizing the consequences of my actions, I took a hard look inwards and sought to find the truth behind them. What pain was I carrying myself that was so poorly and wrongly being projected onto others?

“I made a promise to myself that no matter what it took, I would get to the root of these issues and finally start to fix myself so I could be a better friend, a better partner, and a better man overall. That being said, no amount of growth will ever take away the suffering I had caused. 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 my effort to be a better man, I have fought to get sober, but this time I’m doing it with professional help. Sobriety is a priority in my life, and so is my mental health. These, as I’m learning, go hand in hand.

“But I will not bore anyone with stories of my demons or use them to excuse what I’ve done…I hope that the people I’ve hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me.”

Towards the end of the letter, Adams said he’s used the period of isolation to write enough music to “fill half a dozen albums.”

He continued: “Some of these songs are angry, many are sad but most of them are about the lessons I’ve learned over the last few years. Those ones an expression of my deepest remorse.”

At the time of his initial rebuttal, the singer-songwriter issued a statement via his lawyer which said: “Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.”

After the NYT report was published, Adams took to Twitter and apologised “deeply and unreservedly” to anyone he had “ever hurt, however unintentionally”, but called the article “upsettingly inaccurate”.

Last month (June 17), Bridgers discussed her experience of speaking out on the allegations of sexual misconduct against Adams, arguing that “there’s a conversation around privilege to be had” so that others can also have their voices heard.

“Once everybody knew, it was great,” Bridgers told NME. “The shitty thing was before”. She then revealed that a former Adams representative told her the exposé had been canned, only for the New York Times journalist to reassure her that the revelations would come to light.

“When a team of amazing fact-checkers and journalists unafraid of actual lawsuits are on your side…I feel really lucky I met so many people who were willing to go to bat for me,” she continued. “There’s a big conversation about privilege to be had. I, a young white female, was able to meet other young white females who had contacts with journalists. So many people do not have that.”

Adams made his first public live appearance since the allegations emerged back in January.

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