Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has penned a letter for The Daily Mail in which he apologizes for the inappropriate sexual behavior highlighted in the bombshell February 2019 The New York Times expose that caused him to put his career on a forced hiatus.
Adams has been relatively quiet in the roughly 17 months since the NYT report made public a string of allegations that he habitually wielded his clout in the music industry to emotionally abuse and sexually manipulate young fans and artists. The report cited seven different women, including Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore and rising artist Phoebe Bridgers, and describes a pattern in which offers of career assistance repeatedly turned into sexual advances and romantic relationships became emotionally abusive.
In the wake of the expose, Adams’ imminent new album, Big Colors, was put on hold indefinitely. Adams had previously hinted at the fact that Big Colors would be the first of three albums he intended to release in 2019. None of the planned albums wound up being released as Adams has dropped out of the public eye almost entirely in the time since the allegations were publicized.
When the Times expose was initially released, Ryan Adams was quick to dismiss the allegations as untrue. As he tweeted on the day the article was released:
But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period.
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) February 13, 2019
In July of 2019, Adams released a statement via Instagram in which he seemed to show some remorse but did not directly acknowledge the allegations leveled against him by the women in the New York Times report.
Now, however, Adams appears to have changed his tune. As the Daily Mail letter begins, “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. 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 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.”
In the letter, Adams notes that he has since gotten sober and, in working through these allegations, has written enough new material to “fill half a dozen albums.” While the letter makes no mention of releasing said new music, we wouldn’t be surprised if this public apology indicates that Adams is making moves toward releasing new music again.
Read the full apology statement from Ryan Adams about the 2019 sexual misconduct allegations as published on Friday by The Daily Mail below.
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.
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.
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.
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 really want to express that I’ve internalized 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.
Singer Mandy Moore, the former wife of Ryan Adams and one of the women whose allegations were featured in the 2019 New York Times expose, spoke about the public apology on Today on Monday morning. When asked if she believed he had changed, as he noted in his letter, Moore noted that she found it “strange” that “someone would make a public apology but not do it privately. I am speaking for myself, but I have not heard from. … I’m not looking for an apology, necessarily, but I find it curious that someone would sort of do an interview about it without making amends privately.” Watch the clip below:
Mandy Moore talks about her ex-husband Ryan Adams’ public apology over the weekend regarding allegations of abuse. pic.twitter.com/MQ8j2nvY2L
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 6, 2020