Ryan Adams breaks long silence on abuse allegations

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, whose career stalled last year when several women made allegations against him, has broken a lengthy silence to admit he did wrong.

Early in 2019 his ex-wife - pop singer Mandy Moore - accused him of exerting control over her career, which ground to a halt during their marriage. The New York Times published an article citing seven women and "more than a dozen associates" of Adams, accusing him of "a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex".

He was also accused of engaging in "inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage".

At the time Adams denied the latter charge, and said reports of the former were "upsettingly inaccurate". He issued a brief apology, but was otherwise defiant - eventually disappearing from public view, out of character for a musician who once released three new albums in a single year.

Breaking his silence in an article for the Daily Mail on Saturday, Adams said there were "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," the 'Come Pick Me Up' singer wrote.

"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. I get that and I also understand that there's no going back."

Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams is a big Star Wars fan. Photo credit: Getty

He said he understood many would think this is "the same empty bullshit apology I've always used when I was called out".

"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. 

"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."

Known for past drug and alcohol use, Adams said he's sought professional help to get sober.

"I will not bore anyone with stories of my demons or use them to excuse what I've done. I really want to express that I've internalised the importance of self-care and self-work. I'm really trying. 

"Music is how I lay my soul bare, and in working through this, I have written enough music to fill half a dozen albums. 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. 

"I hope that the people I've hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me."

Fans on the Ryan Adams section of popular web forum Reddit, many of whom 'cancelled' the singer last year, seemed cautiously optimistic for the musician's future. 

"I don't think people should be cancelled for what they may have done under the influence of addiction, or during a difficult period of mental health either. There has to be some compassion," one fan wrote.

"Most honest thing I've read from him since this came out. Let his actions speak louder than words and Ryan, I will support you as you move forward," said another. 

"F**king finally. Didn’t need to mention his own music but not going to let perfect be the enemy of good. This is the first step," said a third.

Adams had three new albums planned last year. His website relaunched this week, a day ahead of the article in the Daily Mail.